‘Hate crime’ attack on graves


Six males have been arrested in the Cookstown area after gravestones were desecrated at the Drum Road cemetery in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Two males aged 21 years old, two males aged 20 years old and two males aged 19 years old were arrested on suspicion of criminal damage at the graveyard.

Police are treating the incident as a hate crime.

Local PSNI Inspector Swan said: “At around 3:35am, it was reported a number of gravestones in the area had been damaged. It is believed that graffiti was spray painted and scraped onto the gravestones.

“At this stage, police are treating the incident as a hate crime. “All six males were arrested in the area and are currently in police custody.”

Cookstown residents have been calling for CCTV to be installed at the graveyard after a series of sickening attacks.

In April, grave side ornaments were stolen and damaged in an incident which left grieving relatives sickened, while last November vandals glued a tricolour to a gravestone.