THE grieving family of an 8-year-old boy whose death in a Glasgow graveyard was due to a lack of “basic maintenance” have said he is, “missed every single day”.

Ciaran Williamson died after a headstone fell on him at Craigton Cemetery in Cardonald in May 2015. He suffered two skull fractures and injuries to his heart and liver.

A Fatal Accident Inquiry ruled that Ciaran’s death could have been prevented if Glasgow City Council had had a memorial inspection system in place and had repaired a hole in a boundary wall where the schoolboy accessed the graveyard with his friends.

The four-week inquiry heard from an expert who said a “gust of wind” could have toppled the grave stone.

Glasgow City Council said it accepted the sheriff’s findings.

The hearing was told that a previous child had been seriously injured in the graveyard previously, in similar circumstances.

The court also heard the council commissioned a mason’s report which condemned the condition of the stone which killed Ciaran. However, it did not form part of an HSE and Crown probe that followed.

Other evidence showed a lack of cemetery inspections and a request by the Head of Bereavement Services for resources to deal with a known problem of falling memorials.

Thomsons Socilitors, who acted on behalf of Ciaran’s dad Ryan Williamson said they would be pursuing damages. The council is unlikely to challenge a civil case given the strength of the FAI’s findings.

Mr Williamson said: “The very strong recommendations made by the sheriff are the best outcome we could have hoped for and I would like to thank her for the work she has done.

“ It should have never taken the death of my son for this issue to be addressed by the authorities.

“Had Glasgow City Council properly maintained the cemetery Ciaran would still be alive today.

“An accident like this, which was completely preventable, must never happen again. No family should ever have to suffer the loss we have.”

Ciaran’s mother Stephanie Griffin said: “Every day we are crippled with the agony of losing Ciaran but this conclusion has not brought peace, answers or even a sense of justice.

“This FAI found major gaps in Council processes which tell us it has been either defiant or negligent.

“The Crown refused to prosecute the Council before the facts were fully investigated yet today, when the Court Does find faults, the Council still escapes prosecution.”

Ciaran’s Grandmother Margaret Aitken added: “Ciaran was a wonderful child with his whole life ahead of him and he is missed every single day. The thing that upsets me so much is knowing that had basic maintenance been made in the graveyard he would still be alive.”

Digby Brown, which represented Ms Griffin said it would not “rule out” civil proceedings against the council.

Councillor Anna Richardson said: “I accept the Sheriff’s findings. We are sorry and our thoughts remain with Ciaran’s family and friends.

“It is clear that the Sheriff expects national guidelines and advice to be put in place for all cemeteries and, in particular, for dealing with larger and often older memorials.

“The council will adopt those guidelines once they are available.

“The council had already taken steps that address the Sheriff’s other recommendations prior to the inquiry and used the expert evidence heard in court to further strengthen its procedures.

“We welcome the Sheriff’s very clear statement that no cemetery is a safe place for play.”

The Sheriff’s Recommendations

National guidance on memorial safety, by the Scottish Government, should include a category specific to the inspection of large, traditional monuments, distinct from smaller structures.

Given the potential danger posed by large leaning memorials, these should be given special attention and clear guidance issued as to the procedures for testing their safety and stability.

Glasgow City Council should reconsider their recent 2015 guidance on memorial inspection to take account of the issues raised in this Inquiry.

Other agencies who are involved in the inspection of traditional memorials should produce separate guidance, in particular, for those which are showing signs of movement.