Margaret Griffin of Griffin’s Garden Centre in Dripsey spoke out last night after the bizarre theft before midnight on Wednesday.
“It’s our village and we’re not going to let anybody turn this into a ghost town,” said Ms Griffin.
Local volunteers drew up plans several weeks ago to spruce up Dripsey Bridge.
Peggy Baker secured a €6,000 grant for 12 lantern-topped poles which were installed on the bridge — six on each side.
Ms Griffin, who had spent weeks preparing the hanging baskets with a wonderful display of geraniums, arranged to put them in place about two weeks ago.
“They were in full bloom, they were stunning, and everybody was talking about them,” she said.
“We had about eight plants in each basket and they had really brightened up the place. I’d be out in the mornings watering them and people driving by would beep in support.”
She said some concerns were expressed when the scheme was being planned that the baskets would be stolen or vandalised.
However, she said she encouraged the volunteers to have faith in people, and some small security straps and ties were wrapped around the baskets.
“I was obviously proven wrong. It’s very disappointing,” Ms Griffin said.
However, she said she and her team will not give up on their vision to spruce up the village ahead of a nearby world championship fishing event in three weeks.
Ms Griffin appealed to anyone who sees the stolen floral displays, which could be worth up to €60 each, on offer for sale at car boot sales over the next few days to report the matter to gardaí. The theft has been reported to Blarney gardaí.