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Inner Western Courier Thursday Not Used Anymore : March 4th 2009
MB INNER-WEST WEEKLY, Thursday, March 5, 2009 11 NEWS Vandals return to Rookwood graves ZILKA GROGAN and FIONA BRADY Graham Allatt near damaged graves at Rookwood. Picture: PHIL BLATCH ~PP250505 VANDALS have struck again at Rookwood Necropolis, toppling historic graves in a night-time wrecking spree. The thugs scaled a 1.8m fence to desecrate between 15 and 20 graves in the Catholic section of the cemetery. The damage was discovered by mainten- ance crews repairing graves that were vandalised in April last year. The lead hand on the maintenance crew, Graham Allatt, said he was shocked to uncover more vandalism. ''It's disgusting what they're doing . . . they don't discriminate, they just push over the weakest graves,'' Mr Allatt said. ''These graves would have been from about 1930 so they can't be repaired. ''You just feel sorry for the people who own the grave.'' Catholic Cemeteries Board chief execu- tive officer Michael McMahon estimated the damage bill could be anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000 because of the age of the graves. ''Unfortunately some of our society feel they should destroy things,'' he said, adding that it would take two to three adults to have toppled the monuments. The attacks had been reported to police and night-time security had been stepped up, McMahon said. It is the responsibility of families to repair the graves because the cemetery has waived any fees for repair work to be carried out. However Mr McMahon said the Catholic Cemeteries Trust would ensure the head- stones did not pose a safety hazard. No vandalism had been reported in the other sections of the cemetery as yet although in the past all of Rookwood has been a regular target for vandals. The most serious attack was three years ago when vandals toppled hundreds of headstones right across the 283 ha site, including more than 100 graves in the Catholic section. 725828
February 25th 2009
March 11th 2009