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Thieves damage St Anthony’s school bus while stealing diesel

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DAMAGED The picture of St Anthony's vandalised school bus on the GoFundMe page that was set up to fund the urgent repairs.

Anton McNulty

A GO Fund Me page set up to repair a special school bus, which was vandalised in a suspected theft of diesel, raised almost €5,000 in one day.
The page was set up on behalf of St Anthony’s Special School in Castlebar on Sunday after thieves forcibly removed the fuel tank from beneath the Ford Transit bus so they could drain the fuel.
The incident occurred some time between 9am and 1.48pm on Saturday, April 18, outside St Anthony’s Special School on the Westport Road, Castlebar.
The school is currently closed due to the Covid-19 restrictions and the 161 registered bus, which is used to transport special needs children on educational trips and activities, was parked outside it.
In an attempt to steal the diesel from the tank, the thieves left the tanks lying broken underneath the bus with lots of broken piping, tubing and attachments.
The bus was left unusable until it is repaired and a GoFundMe page was set up to raise funds to repair the damage. The cost to repair the damage has not yet been established but a goal of €2,000 was set on the page. On Monday evening, 160 people had made donations to the page to help raise €4,839.
Gardaí in Castlebar investigating the crime have asked anyone with any information on the damage to the bus to contact them on 094 9038200.

Louisburgh fundraiser
Meanwhile, a Louisburgh man who is virtually walking from his home in Dublin to Louisburgh has so far raised €4,074 for Cystic Fibrosis Ireland. Chris O’Grady is cocooned in his home in Churchtown in Dublin and unable to make his way west because of the restrictions, he decided to walk the 267km journey by walking around his house.
Chris started the challenge on Monday, April 6 and set himself a target of raising €1,000 for the charity and to date he has raised €4,074 for Cystic Fibrosis Ireland. He choose Cystic Fibrosis Ireland after they were forced to cancel their main annual fundraiser, 65 Roses Day, because of the restrictions.
In his latest update on his Twitter page, Chris has crossed the Shannon into Connacht and is close to the Mayo border after arriving into Ballinagare in the last 24 hours.