Vandalism attacks hit Crosshaven walkway and Ringmahon Rangers club

Vandalism attacks hit Crosshaven walkway and Ringmahon Rangers club

Gardaí in Cork are investigating separate acts of random vandalism - one in which all 88 greenway spotlights were ‘irreparably’ damaged in a drill attack and the other which caused some €2,000 damage to dugouts at a soccer club which has produced a Champions League-winning goalkeeper.

Three youths spent an hour smashing concrete blocks into two dug-outs at Ringmahon Rangers soccer club in Mahon.

They were captured on the club’s CCTV system taking cavity blocks from where new toilets are being built on the club’s campus, and then smashing them into two adjoining super-strong plastic-covered dug-outs - one on the main pitch, the other on the schoolboy’s pitch.

Club secretary, Sean Fitzpatrick, said repairs will cost more than €2,000:

People are volunteering every day in the club to make it a better place but when local lads decide to damage our stuff, it knocks everyone back.

The club has produced top-flight players including Liverpool’s Champions League-winning goalkeeper, Caoimhín Kelleher, and Preston’s Adam O’Reilly and Alan Browne.

Meanwhile, all 88 solar-powered, wildlife-sensitive lights which were installed on a section of Crosshaven walkway in July have been rendered useless after they were all drilled individually through the centre, damaging the photocell in each light beyond repair.

Vandalism attacks hit Crosshaven walkway and Ringmahon Rangers club

A council spokesperson said they had many requests in recent years to install public lighting on this 5km walkway but were unable to do so because of lack of funding and the impact lighting may have on wildlife in the area. However, solar-powered lighting was deemed the perfect solution for an 800-metre stretch between the car park at Kilnagleary and Leary’s Cross, with plans to install them along the rest of the route later.

A contractor installed the lights on July 15, at a cost of €4,521, but they were all damaged between July 24 and 28. The Council has described the act as one of “irreparable vandalism”. Local Cllr Liam O’Connor, chairman of Carrigaline Tidy Towns, branded the vandalism as “disgraceful behaviour” and “criminal damage” and said the matter has been referred to gardaí for investigation: “I hope that those responsible will be identified and held accountable. This is not acceptable."

The council said the matter has also been reported to gardaí.

County Cork Mayor, Cllr Christopher O Sullivan also expressed his dismay: “Cork County Council strives to provide the very best quality of service to the people of Cork and in a manner that respects the environment and enhances existing amenities. The damage done to this pilot scheme of energy-efficient public lighting is very disappointing."

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