Looking back... Locked gates at cemetery cause distress for families

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A Newtownabbey councillor was calling for proper supervision at Rashee Cemetery in 1988.

According to Cllr George Herron, bereaved families were left distressed to find that they couldn’t gain access to the Ballyclare cemetery to visit the graves of their loved ones.

A number of local residents had raised concerns about the cemetery on the Rashee Road in the south Antrim town.

He explained: “Any contractors who want to work at headstones have to ring the council to arrange to get into the graveyard and a great deal of inconvenience is also caused to bereaved families who want to visit the grave side.

“Many disabled and elderly folk need to be driven into the cemetery, but are unable to do so because the gates are kept closed,” he explained.

The local councillor added: “This must be the only graveyard in Northern Ireland where you can’t drive in.

“It really isn’t good enough.”

The Official Unionist representative also said that he would be pressing for proper supervision at the Ballyclare cemetery to ensure that the gates could be opened to the public.