THE mother of a 20-year-old man who died suddenly in early June says she has been left “devastated” after paying a man for a headstone for his grave in St Patrick’s Cemetery, which has yet to be erected.
Daniel Carberry, from Aghameen Park, died on June 2 less than a month shy of his 21st birthday. He had just proposed to his partner Emma Jane a week earlier with the couple having just welcomed daughter Faith Kaitlynn into the world.
As his mum Paula struggles to come to terms with life without her only son, her grief has been added to by the fact that his headstone has yet to be erected despite the fact she paid a local man e1,000 for it.
Mrs Carberry said: “I was at the grave after we had just buried Daniel when a man approached me saying he did headstones. He gave me his card and I met him a few times in town after that so I borrowed e1,000 to pay him for the headstone.
“He promised me he’d have it up so many times and eventually he said he’d definitely have it up for the Blessings of the Graves but it’s still not up.
“He’s now admitted that the money is gone and that he spent part of it on medical expenses and the second part he gambled.
“He says he’ll still put up Daniel’s headstone but that he’s waiting on a cheque from someone else to clear.
“That’s simply not good enough though. This has been going on over nine weeks now and I’ve been on to the council about him and they said they had problems with him before. He has admitted to me that he reads the obituaries and approaches people at either the graveyard or their home.
“He has a business card with the name of his company on it but they’re not listed anywhere on the internet, which I find just a little bit strange.”
Paula discovered that Daniel’s headstone has been made by a company in Kilkenny but she fears she may have to borrow another sum of money to collect it.
“The place in Kilkenny has it made up and it has been ready for four weeks but they don’t release it until he goes down and picks it up.
“I’ve already paid e1,000, which I borrowed, for it and I fear I might have to borrow more money from somewhere for it now.
“The whole thing just has me devastated big time. Obviously I’m not over Daniel’s death yet but I was taking one day at a time and doing fine. For the last few nights though I’ve not been sleeping and I’ve been lying in bed crying every week.
“I don’t know if I’ll ever see Daniel’s headstone up but I think people have a right to know what is going on out there because I seen the same man approach a 17-year-old girl at the graveyard, whose son had just been stillborn. I just don’t want this to happen to anyone else,” said Paula.
The Dundalk Democrat contacted the individual in question about the matter.
He said he was a good person and that newspapers were not the place to discuss such things.
When it was put to him that Mrs Carberry had a legitimate complaint, he said there were “two sides to every story.” When he was then asked to give his side, he said he had “no comment.”