Wrecking spree by vandals to cost school €60,000 []


By John Fallon

Thursday March 19 2009

A national school in Galway had to close its doors to 360 pupils yesterday morning after it was vandalised for the second time in three days.

Now the school in Moycullen is going to spend €60,000 building a security fence in a bid to beat the vandals, who have struck 12 times in five years.

Vandals smashed windows in Scoil Mhuire on Sunday night but the damage was repaired and the debris cleared up on Monday when the school was closed. But teachers were horrified when they arrived yesterday morning to find that the vandals had struck again on St Patrick's night -- smashing seven large windows and throwing school equipment around.

And the vandals -- believed to be binge drinking locals who may have been past pupils of the village school -- also knocked out a CCTV camera.


Assistant school principal Aingeal Ni Chonghaol said there was dismay when it was discovered that the vandals had again struck.

She said that the school now had no option but to erect a large security fence costing €60,000. "Schools are cash-strapped at the moment and this is money which could be used to buy resources, could be used for something positive rather than for something negative.

"But thousands of euro have been paid out over the past few years repairing the damage caused by vandals and it has to stop," she said. The double attack on Scoil Mhuire is the latest in a series of attacks by vandals in Moycullen, a village about 12m west of Galway on the road to Clifden.

The village does not have a high crime level but attacks by vandals have been frequent in recent years. The local Immaculate Conception church was defaced by graffiti in the summer of 2005, while the local community centre was also targeted around then.

A garda spokesman has appealed for witnesses to the latest attacks, with a large group of 15-16 year olds the prime suspects.

Gardai have been unable to identify them from CCTV footage as they were wearing hoodies, while other cameras were destroyed by the vandals.

- John Fallon


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