Local historian Gary Blair put out a request for “a helping hand or two” today after discovering that the headstone of one of Ballymoney’s most famous sons (Alexander Gamble) had been toppled. Councillor Darryl Wilson happened to be in the town at the time and rang Gary to offer assistance.
Gary is more than familiar with the site and many of the historical facts which are associated with it. On many occasions he has shown visitors and locals around the graveyard which is steeped in local history.
The damaged headstone belonged to a United Irishman, hanged because he refused to inform on his comrades.
Gamble was executed on 25 June 1798 in the Diamond and buried at the foot of the gallows. 85 years later,on 14 September 1883, Gamble’s body was unearthed by workmen and his grandsons reburied his remains in the “old graveyard”
Unfortunately there are indications that foul play is involved with vandalism being the likely cause for the damage.
Gary, assisted by Reissey Black and Raymond Christie have returned the headstone to it’s plinth with a view to adding reinforcement in the future.
Councillor Wilson thanked the local men for looking after this local landmark.