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Reward money for arrest of those who vandalized veteran tombstones now $5500

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Hibernians and Legislator Adam Cyr add to the reward

By Andrew Harris

The outrage over the theft of thirteen bronze plaques from the gravesites of Wellsville veterans is growing. Yesterday we reported the Wellsville American Legion and the Elks Lodge 1495 have offered $2000 each for information leading to the arrest of those responsible.

This morning, the local order of Hibernians issued this statement:

“At our June 15, 2022 Allegany County Ancient Order of Hibernians monthly meeting tonight, our AOH Division voted Unanimously to add $500 to the Reward Fund  for information leading to the identification and conviction of of the Vandal(s) who damaged and removed the Veteran Plaques on the headstones at Sacred Heart Cemetery in Wellsville, NY.  We support and applaud our fellow Brothers and Sisters at the Wellsville American Legion Post as well as local Elks Lodge #1495 in every effort to assist law enforcement in identifying the vandals.

Our AOH Division has many members, parents and grandparents who are USA Veterans who have bravely served our nation.  Member Mike Hennessy Heads up the Allegany County Veterans Administration office and works Tirelessly to make sure all our veterans have a plaque on their grave marker.  Tim Colligan is also an AOH Member and he works tirelessly to keep Shane Colligan Park a bright spot for the community on Main Street.  The disrespect of this vandalism at Sacred Heart, or at any cemetery as well as Shane Colligan Park should not be tolerated by our community.  We encourage all other Service Organizations to add to the reward fund that will hopefully help identify and convict the responsible individual(s).

We ask anyone that has any information on the disgusting and disrespectful Sacred Heart Cemetery and Colligan Park Vandalism to contact the Wellsville Police Department at # 585-593-5600 as soon as possible.”

Not long after that reward was announced, Allegany County Legislator Adam Cyr posted an additional $1000 reward in hopes of finding the criminal(s) involved.

“Hopefully we get some justice,” said Cyr

Tim Colligan, who is an active member of all the organizations involved, and a victim of another recent act of vandalism had this to say:

“An update on the flowers at the Shane Colligan Memorial park:  Unfortunately, the Wellsville Police Department have not been able to find any credible information on the perpetrators, however, through a number of donations, there will soon be a planter at the park similar to those that adorn Main St.

With regards to the Veteran Plaques, I stand ready to assist Mike Hennessy and The Veterans Service Agency if I can help prepare paperwork to obtain replacement plaques. Most if not all the affected Veterans were laid to rest through Embser’s Funeral Home, and as such, I am hoping I can retrieve the required documentation. 

This community has rallied together in these recent acts of vandalisms and I am proud to be a member of the Sons of the American Legion, the Elks, and the AoH.”

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