August 12, 2022

Gardai hunt ‘mindless’ vandals who caused €10,000 of damage to kids’ playground in Kilkenny


VANDALS broke into the grounds of the Fr McGrath Centre in Kilkenny over the weekend and caused over €10,000 worth of damage to the children’s playground.

The shocking incident occurred sometime between 6pm on Friday and midnight on Sunday.

Extensive damage was done to the children’s playground inside the grounds of the much-loved family resource facility on St Joseph’s Road, which provides a range of vital services to the community.

The intruders broke through fencing around the perimeter of the centre and proceeded to rip-up the Astroturf surface on the playground. Gardaí said €10,000 worth of damage was done to the playground, a hugely popular facility for children in the community.

Fr McGrath Centre General Manager Stephen Murphy said he was “horrified” that somebody could have done this to a public resource that is likely to be used by some of their own family members and relatives.

Mr Murphy told Kilkenny “This was an act of mindless vandalism. Whole chunks of the surface were ripped up and unfortunately it means the playground is no longer safe for the children to use.”

Mr Murphy has appealed to Kilkenny County Council for funding to replace the surface of the playground. He said he is unable to say when the playground will be able to reopen again until he gets confirmation that the funding is in place.

Mr Murphy added: “This playground is used seven days a week by kids and their families in the local community, it’s demoralising to think that it was done by local teenagers whose own families or relatives are likely to use it.”

Gardai are seeking the public’s helping in tracking down the culprits.

They have urged potential witnesses who may have noticed any suspicious activity in the area at the time, or anyone who knows anything about the incident, to contact Kilkenny Garda Station on 056 777 5000.

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