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Locals disgusted by damaged statue

News

FRUSTRATED LOCALS  Standing alongside the beheaded statue of Our Lady, which was vandalised at Teampall Maol cemetery, Foxford, last week were, from left: Brendan Hughes, Frank O’Hara and Kevin Hughes who voluntarily maintain and clean the centuries- old cemetery.  Pic: David Farrell Photography

Ger Flanagan

LOCALS of Coolegrane, Foxford have been left ‘shocked’ and ‘disgusted’ after an incident of vandalism at Teampall Maol Cemetery took place recently.
The incident involves one of the three white stone statues in the cemetery – which dates back to the 1600s –  with the vandal knocking the head off the valuable piece. It is understood a sledgehammer was used in the incident, which occurred in the early hours of Tuesday, July 3 or Wednesday, July 4.
The cemetery is floodlight and situated beside a junction at Church Park, Coolegrane, Foxford. Local man Kevin Hughes, who along with his brother, Brendan and fellow local Frank O’Hara maintain the cemetery year round, said he was disappointed as the statue had much sentimental meaning to them.
“The feeling in the area was not good when we discovered the head was knocked off,” he told The Mayo News. “We were shocked and and probably disgusted when we saw what had happened, because to do something like that is just wrong.
“The statue is there since 2001 and was donated by my late mother, so it meant a lot to us. Thankfully the head wasn’t taken, so we’re hoping it can be repaired.”
This is the second case of vandalism on the cemetery in the last four years, where damage to the face and hands of the other statues occurred the first time round.
Gardaí have taken statements regarding the incident and are appealing for witnesses in their investigation.
The annual cemetery Mass took place last Friday evening and it is believed the statue was repaired in time.