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Ballinrobe crib vandalism branded ‘a new low’


WANTON VANDALISM Gardaí are appealing to anyone with information to contact them after the crib in Ballinrobe was vandalised over the weekend.

Oisín McGovern

THE vandalisation of a nativity crib in Ballinrobe has been condemned by local representatives, with one describing the act as ‘a new low’.
Cllrs Damien Ryan and Michael Burke have called for those who desecrated the crib on Abbey Street to be identified and heavily sanctioned.
Between the hours of Friday night and Saturday morning, vandals bent metal bars at the front of the crib and knocked over large nativity figures.
A number of other items were taken from the crib and smashed on the ground.
The crib has been built by local father and son Tomas and Kevin Fahy, who repaired the damage done to the display on Saturday.
Tomas told The Mayo News yesterday (Monday) that he was ‘devastated’ to see it vandalised.  
“A lot of hard work went into it. We as a family put it up there every year,” said Tomas, who has been carrying out the tradition for over a decade.
Local Fianna Fáil councillor Damien Ryan called for an example to be made of the culprits, describing the act as ‘an all-time low’.
“I’d be very adamant between dash-cams and CCTV and various mechanisms, private and public CCTV, that we would try and identify the culprits. Because I think it’s time that somebody made an example of people that would go to that level,” Cllr Ryan told The Mayo News.
“Heavy-handed prosecution would have the desired effect. If enforcement is seen to be fairly firm and it seems to be dealt with fairly that will act as a great deterrent,” he added.

‘Very sad’
Fine Gael councillor Michael Burke also condemned the vandalism of the crib and called for the perpetrators to come forward.
“It’s very sad. Whoever did that, I’d just say to them ‘God Almighty help you’, that’s all. It’s akin to going into a graveyard and pulling down a headstone,” Cllr Burke told The Mayo News.
“The Fahy family have been building it for years. Just to think that somebody walks down last night and feels that’s the way they contribute to society, and that’s the way they want to let out their anger. What a way to do it. How long do you stoop to do something like that?”
Cllr Burke said he never recalled a similar act of vandalism occurring in the town.
“The Christmas Crib is the type of thing that everybody respects, whether you might be of that persuasion of religion or no religion at all, but you won’t attack it for any reason,” he said.
Speaking to The Mayo News yesterday, Supt Gabriel Moran said gardaí are currently examining local CCTV footage as part of their investigation into the incident.
Supt Moran appealed to anyone with information relating to the case to contact Claremorris Garda Station on 094 937 2080.