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Last Updated: Friday, 16 September 2005, 19:49 GMT 20:49 UK
Priest postpones Cemetery Sunday
Fr Dan Whyte
Fr Whyte said the parish was "under no threat, veiled or otherwise"
A Catholic blessing ceremony due to take place at a Newtownabbey cemetery this Sunday has been postponed.

The annual event at Carnmoney graveyard has been the focus of loyalist paramilitary threats in the past.

Father Dan Whyte of Saint Bernard's church said he hoped to hold the event next month.

"Quite frankly, in view of the current unrest I am unwilling to invite large numbers of people to come out into a public place," he said.

He added: "I am taking advice from people whose judgement I would value.

"This decision is one that has been taken absolutely freely... as opposed to previous years when we had to put up with a series of threats and intimidation over Cemetery Sunday at Carnmoney."

Fr Whyte said the parish was "under no threat, either veiled or otherwise".

"This free decision is based on our commitment to community forgiveness, reconciliation and peace.

"We hope this gesture to postpone will be seen and interpreted in the spirit in which it was made."

The graveyard has been attacked on several oocasions and headstones smashed.

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15 Sep 03 |  Northern Ireland
Headstones damaged in grave attack
29 Jun 02 |  Northern Ireland
Loyalists blamed for cemetery attack
17 Jun 02 |  Northern Ireland


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