The attack on the grave of Pat Noctor, who had served as the juvenile liaison officer in the Dungarvan garda district for a number of years until his death in 1953 from the motor neuron disease, has caused outrage and revulsion throughout the community.
A steel crucifix uprooted from another grave in St Mary’s parish cemetery was used in the attack late on Monday night or the early hours of yesterday.
The granite headstone was dislodged and damaged and most of the paving around the grave was also smashed.
The late garda was one of the best known and most popular members of the force to serve in Co Waterford.
His work with the youth in his role as juvenile liaison officer was remarkable. Because of his deep interest in sport, garda colleagues launched the annual Pat Noctor Young Sports Star Awards scheme following his death. Supt Michael Blake described the desecration of the grave as “the lowest of the low” and one that had caused deep hurt and no little anger in the Dungarvan division.
“Even the most hardened individual cannot but be saddened by this desecration of the grave of our late colleague”, he said, “and I am making an urgent appeal to members of the general public to give us their full co-operation and assistance in our efforts to bring those responsible to justice.”
Supt Blake extended his regret to the Noctor family at “this very distressing time”.
The late garda’s son, Ian, who is a radio presenter at Today FM, said his mother and the other family members were shocked that such a thing could have happened.
“We are particularly saddened that people would single out for destruction the grave of a man who dedicated himself to the people of Dungarvan and to the Garda Siochana in the way my father did,” he said.
Mr Noctor said the family has no idea why it should have happened.
“My father was held in very high esteem by the people of Dungarvan,” he said.
“Whenever we return there we are always proud of the reaction there is to his name,” he added.