Headstones and monuments at a plot maintained by Sinn Féin activists in Cork's St Finbarr's Cemetery on Glasheen Road have been targeted by vandals just 24 hours ahead of Easter Rising commemorations tomorrow.
Graffiti was daubed on some of the headstones, with slogans including ‘IRA scumbags’ and ‘Fuck the IRA’ painted on others.
Local gardaí and members of the special branch are currently investigating.
Amongst those buried in the plot are former Lord Mayor Tomas MacCurtain, whose headstone was vandalised.
Sinn Féin’s Cork city council leader Chris O’Leary told BreakingNews.ie: “We had been working on the plot, getting it ready for Sunday and people went out yesterday and were shocked and disgusted by what they saw.
“I’m disgusted that someone would desecrate headstones.”
Cllr O’Leary also confirmed Tom Barry’s headstone, which isn’t at the plot, was also vandalised – indicating that vandalism was deliberately carried out ahead of tomorrow’s commemorations.
“I would say certain headstones were singled out,” he added. “Tom Barry’s headstone was also targeted and that’s not on the plot, so I suspect it was deliberately ahead of tomorrow’s commemorations.
“We have spent all day cleaning them ahead of tomorrow.”
Meanwhile, Workers’ Party Councillor Ted Tynan condemned the vandalism as “disgusting”.
Cllr Tynan said that the attack was sickening, particularly coming just 48 hours or so before commemorations for 1916.
“This weekend, the 97th anniversary of the 1916 Rising will be remembered with pride and respect. To think that the men and women who sacrificed their lives for this country could be treated with such utter contempt is disgusting. The fact that only the graves in the Republican plot and of prominent republicans buried nearby have been covered with graffiti suggest that they were deliberately targeted,” Cllr Tynan said.