Waterlogged graves causing upset - Frew

Paul Frew, MLA, at Cullybackey New Cemetery last week when he met with Georgina Peacock to discuss water-logging at some of the graves. Included are Elizabeth Law and Maureen Johnston. INBT 06-811H
Paul Frew, MLA, at Cullybackey New Cemetery last week when he met with Georgina Peacock to discuss water-logging at some of the graves. Included are Elizabeth Law and Maureen Johnston. INBT 06-811H

Mid & East Antrim Council are to carry out improvements to waterlogged graves at a local cemetery following an MLA’s appeal for action.

DUP MLA Paul Frew called last week for a Council investigation into the problem of lying water at Cullybackey New Cemetery after being contacted by a number of people who have loved ones buried there.

He said: “The constituents are very upset that there has been now for some months, a level of water on top of many of the graves.

“One mourner, whose husband was buried in October, has never seen the graveside dry, without water lying on top.

“Having been out on a number of occasions to investigate this issue it is very clear to see that something needs done.

“Mourners and loved ones are getting very upset at the thought of this continuing with no sign of resolution. In fact, some loved ones are having to wear wellington boots just to walk to the grave because the whole area is very soft - even the grass walkways between graves - and in some places, impassable,” said Mr Frew.

“It’s when you walk along the graves you see the water pooling on top of graves - five to six inches on some - and ornaments and flowers floating about.”

Responding, a Council spokesperson said on Friday: “Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is very sorry that the visitors have experienced difficulties at Cullybackey New Cemetery. A technical investigation was undertaken this week to determine drainage conditions and we can confirm that the drain systems are working. However, the ground has a clay-rich layer beneath the surface and following heavy rainfall patches of water do form and can take some time to permeate to the drains.

“In the coming weeks a number of regular winter maintenance works will be carried out including the topping up of the decorative stones which lay in front of all the head stones.

“ These improvements will hopefully be well received and we do always welcome feedback from families and visitors in order to improve the services we provide,” the spokesperson said.