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Grave 'a disgrace' say IRA death family

PUBLISHED: 04:41 04 June 2003 | UPDATED: 13:57 03 March 2010

MOTHER of IRA murder victim Mark Clavey has labelled workmen who cut the grass around her son's grave "a disgrace".

Marion Clavey, whose son Mark, was killed by a terrorist bomb in Northern Ireland 15 years ago also claimed they had been disrespectful in removing flowers from the grave in Trimley St Martin churchyard.

MOTHER of IRA murder victim Mark Clavey has labelled workmen who cut the grass around her son's grave "a disgrace".

Marion Clavey, whose son Mark, was killed by a terrorist bomb in Northern Ireland 15 years ago also claimed they had been disrespectful in removing flowers from the grave in Trimley St Martin churchyard.

Mrs Clavey, 60, went to the churchyard on Sunday to lay fresh flowers on the grave of her son, mother and stepfather, who are all laid to rest on the same plot.

She said: "We went up there on Sunday and the grass was very long and we thought it looked a mess, so we put some new flowers down and trimmed the grass around the grave.

"But we went back on Wednesday and found that the flowers had been removed. It looked like they had had driven a tractor through the yard – there was grass cuttings everywhere and it looked awful – it's a disgrace."

Mrs Clavey of St Martin's Green, Trimley St Martin said she tidied her son's grave at the church in Trimley High Road and laid more flowers but said she felt sorry for the relatives of other people buried in the churchyard who were unable to maintain them on such a regular basis.

But Trimley vicar The Rev Terry Wells said it was the first time he had heard of such a complaint and said the grass cutting in the churchyard was usually a three-day process.

He said: "The graveyard closed in 2000 which meant no more new burials could take place. When this happens it is handed back to the parish council and then onto the district council.

"It used to be maintained by volunteers, but now all the work is undertaken by Suffolk Coastal District Council but we have not had any complaints before.

"I sympathise with the parents but I believe the grass-cutting process takes three days – the first day they use a mower and then they use strimmers to trim around the graves."

A spokeswoman for Suffolk Coastal said the council had not received any complaints about the grass cutting but had sent a supervisor to inspect the graveyard and he was happy its condition.

Some areas had been left uncut as these were wild flower areas and would be tended to later in the season. Cut grass had been removed.

The council did not know anything about flowers being removed from graves – its staff only cut the grass.

Soldier Mr Clavey was a signaller in the 8th Brigade Royal Signal Squadron when the IRA blew up an Army minibus in June 1988.

n What do you think? Are Suffolk's cemeteries and graveyards well maintained or is their room for improvement? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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