‘Thou­sands’ to fix church van­dal­ism

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - By MYLES BUCHANAN

IT WILL cost a five-fig­ure sum to re­pair dam­age caused to St Mary’s Church in Balt­in­glass af­ter van­dals threw rocks through stained glass win­dows.

The dam­age was caused on Fri­day af­ter­noon dur­ing two sep­a­rate at­tacks.

Rev Máirt Han­ley said the dam­age is a real set­back for both the church and parish­ioners.

‘It’s par­tic­u­larly dis­ap­point­ing that it wasn’t just one in­ci­dent of van­dal­ism. They ac­tu­ally came back to cause more dam­age.

‘We con­tacted the gar­daí and they are in­ves­ti­gat­ing. Most likely it’s just some youngsters mess­ing about. I know they won’t ap­pre­ci­ate the fi­nan­cial bur­den placed on the par­ish. It will cost a five fig­ure sum to re­pair the dam­age, which is a hefty amount for a small par­ish like ours,’ said Rev Han­ley.

VAN­DALS have caused dam­age cost­ing thou­sands of euro to

St Mary’s Church of Ire­land in Balt­in­glass.

The church’s stained glass win­dows have been un­der­go­ing a ren­o­va­tion process, in­clud­ing re­lead­ing the win­dows and re­plac­ing de­te­ri­o­rated storm glaz­ing.

Rocks were thrown at the church on Fri­day af­ter­noon, break­ing stained glass win­dows and dam­ag­ing some new storm glaz­ing.

Rev Máirt Han­ley said the dam­age is a real set back for both the church and parish­ioners.

‘It was very up­set­ting and dis­tress­ing. There were pieces of stained glass all up the knave of the church. There has been some anti-so­cial be­hav­iour around the church grounds in the past but no dam­age has ever been caused to the church be­fore. It’s very dis­ap­point­ing. I hope those re­spon­si­ble will think about what they are do­ing. This will cost us thou­sands of euro, not just one or two thou­sand. It’s quite a bur­den on the par­ish. We have had some greatly supported fundrais­ers lately but now we will have to start the works all over again be­cause of the van­dal­ism.’

The dam­age was first no­ticed on Fri­day af­ter­noon by a lo­cal Work Place­ment Pro­gramme (WPP) worker who re­ported it to Rev Han­ley’s wife. Fur­ther dam­age to the church had been caused by the time they ar­rived back at St Mary’s to ex­am­ine the ex­tent of dam­age caused.

‘I was vis­it­ing some­one in hospi­tal at the time,’ said Rev Han­ley.

‘It’s par­tic­u­larly dis­ap­point­ing that it wasn’t just one in­ci­dent of van­dal­ism. They ac­tu­ally came back to cause more dam­age. We con­tacted the gar­daí and they are in­ves­ti­gat­ing. Most likely it’s just some youngsters mess­ing about. I know they won’t ap­pre­ci­ate the fi­nan­cial bur­den placed on the par­ish. It will cost a five fig­ure sum to re­pair the dam­age, which is a hefty amount for a small par­ish like ours,’ said Rev Han­ley.

Rev Mairt Han­ley with one of the dam­aged win­dows at St Mary’s Church in Balt­in­glass.

Rev Mairt Han­ley.

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