Council to apologise to family over grave blunder

Lowry graveyard photo
Lowry graveyard photo

Aberdeenshire Council officials are to write a letter of apology to a Peterhead family following what they described as the “desecration” of a loved one’s grave.

The family of John Lowry, whose burial took place at the town’s Grange Cemetery on Thursday, June 7, were horrified to discover that around three tonnes of clay had been poured onto the the grave.

The family first realised the incident had happened on the evening of Monday June 11.

They told the Buchanie that as well as leaving the mound of clay on the grave council workers had also moved the wreaths laid by friends and family.

Mr Lowry’s brother, David, who travelled from Northern Ireland to attend the funeral, said: “This is a hard enough time as it is without this happening.

“John’s wife, Bunty, is absolutely devastated by this incident. It is a nightmare.”

He added: “If the council wanted somewhere to hold over three tonnes of clay, there was more than enough space just metres across from my brother’s grave. This should never have happened.”

Speaking to the Buchanie last week, Ian Tillett of Aberdeenshire Council’s landscaping services said that they were aware of the incident and intended tow rite a ltter of apology to Mr Lowry’s family.

Meanwhile, head of roads and landscape services, Philip McKay, added: “We have been in contact with Mrs Lowry to explain the circumstances surrounding this incident, and to apologise for the distress caused.

“When opening a lair, a soil box is normally placed on the adjacent lair.

“While we strive to avoid placing the soil box on a lair that has recently been used for an interment, due to other planned interments at the cemetery, other locations were not available in this instance.

“However, we will continue to take all reasonable steps to avoid our operations causing further upset to the bereaved during what is already a very difficult time.”