Cullyhanna Residents’ property destroyed in play-park bonfire

August 2, 2011

By Brónagh Murphy

A resident of St. Patrick’s Park in Cullyhanna has spoken of his anger and disgust after he arrived home from holidays to find vandals had targeted his home, stealing and setting fire to hundreds of pounds worth of his property.

Having spent a few days on holiday in Dublin, the young man, who lives alone, returned to his home around 11.00am yesterday (Sunday) morning to be greeted by a scene of destruction and chaos.  Flower planters had been upturned and destroyed and his outdoor garden items, including chairs, table, parasol and sun loungers were reduced to a smouldering pile in the nearby play-park.  His wheelie bin, garden hose, paint tins and several items from his garden shed were also set on fire and the vandals even went so far as to take bedclothes from the clothes line and throw them on the bonfire.

The thieves also entered the man’s next door neighbour’s property, destroying flower planters and outdoor decorative items there.

It’s believed the incident occurred sometime after 1.30am on Sunday.

The young man says he is devastated, describing the incident as “an invasion of privacy” and is at a loss as to why his property was destroyed in such a manner.

“Maybe I was just an easy target as my home is close to the entrance of the park.  I take great pride in my home and this attack has left me both angry and disgusted,” he told The Examiner.  “I am at a loss to understand the mentality of those responsible.”

Sinn Fein Councillor Colman Burns angrily condemned those responsible.

“These two households have spent a lot of money buying outdoor furniture, floral displays and other features to enhance the appearance of the local environment yet, in one night of terror, vandals can steal it, heap it up in the children’s playground and burn these valuable belongings.”

Describing it as “an attack on the whole community” he extended his sympathy to the affected homeowners.