Anti-social action blamed for damage to heritage sites

The Rock of Cashel and numerous other abbeys were among those to sustain damage last year, according to the Office of Public Works (OPW).

Anti-social action blamed for damage to heritage sites

Anti-social behaviour was cited as the cause of damage in some cases, although the OPW said no one had been sanctioned in any of the incidents.

Records released under Freedom of Information show damage to 14 different older buildings under the care of the OPW in the past year, although mostly of a relatively minor nature.

The Dominican Friary/St Peter and Paul’s Collegiate Church in Kilmallock in Co Limerick was a target of various incidents, with the OPW revealing the site was “being used as a toilet”, reportedly a frequent problem, and cleaned on a regular basis by the OPW’s direct labour force.

Minor masonry damage and dislodged stones were also the subject of repairs, while there was also damage to windows, with the OPW stating that glass had been broken for a second time, with an assessment for a solution to the problem being carried out.

Graffiti was etched into one of the grave slabs in the Portlester Chapel at St Audeon’s Church, Merchant’s Quay, Dublin, later repaired by the OPW, while no repairs have yet taken place at the Ross Errily Friary in Co Galway, where some stone was dislodged from the top of the gable wall due to “possible anti-social behaviour”.

Ardfert Friary, Kerry.
Ardfert Friary, Kerry.

Chipped graveyard stones at Roscommon Abbey was attributed to possible anti-social behaviour, while there was a break-in at the visitor centre at the Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery, with the phone line cut, a padlock broken, an obsolete safe taken, and a glass countertop broken.

The lead from the roof was also stolen, while the cleaning bill cost €363.20.

There was an attempted break-in to the ruins at Ardfert Friary in Co Kerry, while a stone plaque was scratched at Clonca Church at Culdaff in Co Donegal.

Stone was broken from a niche at the Rock of Cashel, minor masonry damage occurred at Ardmore Cathedral, and there was damage to the gate at Kilcooley Abbey in Co Tipperary when someone cut the shooting bolt that locks the gate, with repairs costing €150.

There was damage to locks and grills at Athassel Abbey, also in Co Tipperary, and damage to leaded windows and a door broken at Barryscourt Castle in Carrigtwohill, Co Cork.

At St Mary’s Church in Co Kilkenny, a Victorian chest tomb was damaged.

The OPW’s Heritage Services division said a ceramic vase was broken while being moved from storage at Farmleigh House, approximate value €300, although the item has as yet not been assessed for repair.

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