GARDAI in Letterkenny are investigating reports that a man discharged a shotgun in a local graveyard earlier this month.
Thousands of ornamental pebbles had gone missing from graves in New Leck cemetery and some people feared it was the work of thieves.
However, it is now believed that crows were the culprits and that one man decided that the best way to warn them off was to shoot them.
Fr Eamon Kelly of St Eunan’s Cathedral said that he was shocked to hear reports that a shotgun had been discharged in a graveyard.
“It’s totally unacceptable that someone would go into a graveyard to shoot crows. It’s highly dangerous and, hopefully, it was a one-off,” he said.
A local resident confirmed yesterday, Thursday, that a large rubbish skip, placed inside the graveyard, was being used to dispose of domestic waste and has attracted a lot of crows in recent weeks.
“Parishioners have been asked in the past not to dump their household waste in that skip. It should only be used for graveyard rubbish,” Fr Kelly said.
A local elderly couple had been visiting the graves earlier this month when they came across the man (believed to be in his sixties) with a shot-gun at his side.
“The man said that his family grave had only been done a few days earlier with new shiny stones and that half of them were now missing. He said the crows were there stripping the grave and he went home, got his shotgun and came back.
“He was standing in an area of the graveyard where there were no graves with the shotgun by his leg,” she said.
“Another lady who was wary of entering the graveyard while he was there came in after he left and asked us were we alright,” she added.
When contacted yesterday, the Sergeant’s office at Letterkenny Garda Station said they had launched an investigation into the incident.
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