GLASGOW City Council is being urged to carry out an urgent safety review of its cemeteries following the death of an eight-year-old boy who was struck by a falling headstone.
Ciaran Williamson was killed after an accident in Craigton Cemetery in the Cardonald area of the city on Tuesday night.
He had been playing with two friends in the graveyard when a headstone toppled over and hit him. The youngster was rushed from the grounds to Yorkhill by paramedics but was pronounced dead a short time later.
A ten-year-old boy remains in a stable condition in hospital following the incident, while another, Thomas McManus, was taken to South Glasgow but has since been released.
Craigton councillor Alistair Watson spoke of his “absolute heartbreak” for the boy’s family and the need for safety checks to “reassure the public”.
He said: “It’s dreadful, I myself played in that cemetery as a child, I offer my deepest sympathy to his parents. Safety checks have to be carried out to see if there are any more headstones in a dangerous condition.
“It’s the start of the summer and many local kids see the cemetery as a playground.” Asked if he felt a citywide review of headstones was necessary, he said: “That would be quite an undertaking but if it averted just one tragedy like that at Craigton it would be worthwhile.”
Friends and relatives, including his father Ryan, have paid tribute to the youngster online following the tragedy.
Ryan, from Govan, said: “My boy, this is not goodbye because I’ll see you again soon buddy. I love you to the moon and back and not a second of a day that goes by will I not miss you, but your memory will be in our hearts forever. We will never stop speaking about you, so until we meet again wee man, you sleep tight and remember, dad loves and misses you more than words can describe.”
Thomas McManus, ten, who was with Ciaran, said: “We just walked through the hole in the wall into the graveyard and there was a tree that we were going to climb.Three of us climbed up it, including me and Ciaran, and when we jumped off and landed the top of the gravestone wobbled and fell over. It had a triangle bit at the top and it fell off and hit Ciaran in the face and me in the back. Ciaran got knocked unconscious. I was going to stay with him but the others were too scared to get his mum so I had to run all the way round and get his stepdad and show him where it was.”
Detective Inspector Tom McKean of Police Scotland said: “The incident is not being treated as suspicious and a full report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.”
A Glasgow City Council spokesman said: “This is a tragic incident and our hearts go out to the child’s family and friends. We will be assisting Police Scotland with their investigation.”