'Grave' error | 

Rangers fan says he wasn't 'urinating on loved ones' after taking a leak in cemetery

Grieving Omagh man Gary McBlain was fined £400 and vows 'it won't happen again'
Rangers fan Gary McBlain

Rangers fan Gary McBlain

Steven Moore

Super-Prod Rangers fan Gary McBlain has admitted he made a "grave" error urinating in a cemetery where his mum is buried.

In an exclusive interview with the Sunday World the 52-year-old, who has been involved in a number of unsavoury incidents at Greenhill Cemetery, Omagh, assured us: "It won't happen again."

He says losing his beloved mum, who he cared for before she died at Christmas 2018, had sent him into a spiral of despair and says he had struggled with grief ever since.

And he said he honestly "deeply regretted" his actions and said he would "certainly not" not be repeating them again.

But the Omagh man, who calls his house Ibrox and has his blinds red, white and blue, was at pains to point out he didn't actually urinate on any grave and cited a medical condition for his behaviour.

Gary McBlain and late his mum

Gary McBlain and late his mum

"I definitely didn't urinate on any graves - I really want to make that clear because it has been reported wrong," he told this paper, just after he was fined £400 to pay for the clean-up and repairs for his lewd acts.

"I urinated in the vicinity of them but it was in a corner of the cemetery. I have a medical condition which means when I need to pee, I have to pee there and then.

"I know that neither is good but I want people to know I wasn't urinating on their loved ones. It's simply not true."

TARGETED: Omagh’s Greenhill Cemetery

TARGETED: Omagh’s Greenhill Cemetery

Gary had already been convicted of damaging a number of cars belonging to GAA fans in 2019 at the same cemetery.

He became angry the cars had been parking there during Tyrone football matches which took place across the road in Healy Park and used broken glass to vandalise the vehicles.

"But I do deeply regret my behaviour, including the damage I caused to those cars that had parked in the graveyard for Tyrone matches," he said.

"That was back in 2019 and my mum had died in December 2018 - just a month or two before - and losing mummy had hit me so hard.

"I took offence at the GAA supporters parking there but I don't know why I did what I done.

"If you remember during the incident when I attacked the cars I used a piece of broken glass I found. I did slash those tyres and I did scrape the side panels of those cars.

"But if you recall I was only caught because I cut my hand and my blood was everywhere.

"I didn't go to hospital because I didn't even realise I'd cut my hand - now what does that say about my mental state?

"I know now it was wrong but I really wasn't in a good place because of my mum. I certainly wouldn't do it again, not least because the judge told me last week if I do anything like it again I'll be going straight to jail.

"I've no intentions of repeating it."

Last July following a series of fresh incidents Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, who maintain the cemetery, had erected CCTV cameras in a bid to halt attacks on graves.

That was after a number of graves were severely damaged by someone who smashed up a large Celtic cross which was fixed to the headstone of someone whose family had placed a green, white and orange flower arrangement.

Rangers fan Gary McBlain

Rangers fan Gary McBlain

A statue of Jesus Christ had its head removed and three other graves in the same area had been badly damaged.

Gary McBlain was questioned about those attacks but was never charged but shortly after the council erected CCTV cameras throughout the cemetery.

It was these cameras that caught him in the act of urinating.

Gary says his heart was broken when he lost his mum.

"The bottom fell out of my whole world when mummy passed away. She was my whole life. We lived in that house for 24 years together and had many happy years.

"But for the last few years I was caring for mummy. She had heart trouble and COPD and then when she got sepsis and had to go into hospital.

"She kept getting infection after infection. There was no let-up. She couldn't get a break from them and things just kept getting worse until she got two abscesses and the doctors said there was nothing they could do.

Rangers fan Gary McBlain at his home

Rangers fan Gary McBlain at his home

"They said she wouldn't survive the general anaesthetic so couldn't operate. It was horrendous to see what she went through.

"All I'm saying is I didn't cope with it very well and grief can make you do strange things and act in strange ways."

Gary says he lives alone and since media coverage of his court cases his house has been attacked.

"After the last story someone threw a brick at my front window," he explained.

"Luckily it bounced off and didn't smash through but the police had to come out. The brick was still lying there the morning after.

Rangers Fan Gary McBlian 'flipped' in anger and vandalised a number of cars parked 'disrespectfully close' to the Greenhill cemetery where his late mother is buried. McBlain, flys a rangers flag at the front of the house, the window blinds are red,white and blue and plaque at the from door reads Ibrox stadium

Rangers Fan Gary McBlian 'flipped' in anger and vandalised a number of cars parked 'disrespectfully close' to the Greenhill cemetery where his late mother is buried. McBlain, flys a rangers flag at the front of the house, the window blinds are red,white and blue and plaque at the from door reads Ibrox stadium

"I'm scared to visit my mum's grave in case I get noticed and attacked. I don't even want my mum's name used in the paper in case someone did something to her grave.

"I am still struggling with it all to this day. I live alone and I'm getting help from the mental health team from the hospital.

"I'm just hoping I can get over this and come out the other side."

On a more positive note, Gary is one of Ulster's biggest Rangers fans and says the last year has at least given him something to smile about after the Glasgow club not only won the league but also stopped fierce rivals Celtic from doing the coveted 'ten in a row'.

"It's been brilliant, I can't believe I had to wait ten years to see them win the league again. That certainly cheered me up!"

Gary, who already had suspended sentences for the previous incidents, was ordered at Omagh Magistrates Court this week to do 100 hours' community service for urinating in the cemetery on top of the £400 fine for the repairs and clean-up.

Defence solicitor Michael Fahy acknowledged his client's behaviour was "unsavoury".

He stated that the public toilets were closed due to the Covid -19 pandemic adding that did not preclude McBlain from 'going' in an area not visible to cameras and away from the graves.

He said the suspended sentences were inextricably linked to the passing of his mother and the defendant had been in grief and attending mental health agencies locally.

District Judge Mark McGarrity gave McBlain credit for his guilty plea. He also took into account a psychiatric report prepared for the court which suggested he had been "unwell".

However, the judge warned him: "You have committed similar offences in the past and I contemplated prison. If you do this behaviour again, you will go to prison."

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