As a protection against theft Sligo County Council replaces original gravestones with replicas.
The theft of a valuable historical monuments in Sligo has led the County Council to take the unusual course of action of removing original grave slabs. Replicas of the original stone grave slabs have been commissioned and were unveiled at a ceremony in Carrowntemple Graveyard.
Eight years ago five early Christian gravestones were removed from Carrowntemple Graveyard although they were recovered it was never proven who had taken them. Sligo County Council took the unusual step of removing nine grave slabs from the cemetery saying that,
It was too risky to leave such valuable artefacts lying out in the open.
Local sculptor Cillian Rogers was commissioned to make replicas of the removed headstones. Two of the original headstones are now on display at the National Museum of Ireland. A spokesman for Sligo County Council says they would prefer to have the originals in Carrowntemple but there was no option for their protection but to remove the stones and replace them with replicas.
An RTÉ News report broadcast 8 September 1992. The reporter is Eileen Magnier.