The Workplace of Public Works has stated incidents at lots of its websites are a “actual, urgent and substantial downside” after it emerged that dozens of historic websites have been hit by vandalism final 12 months.
This contains injury to “priceless” tombs in Co Kilkenny.
The data supplied by the OPW underneath Freedom of Data reveals 51 separate incidents at or involving OPW websites final 12 months, with some being broken greater than as soon as.
Gardaí have been contacted on a minimum of 15 events, together with relating to incidents at what seems to be essentially the most vital injury, at St Mary’s Collegiate Church in Gowran, Co Kilkenny.
The nationwide monument was first constructed within the thirteenth century and options elaborate tombs and effigies.
Based on the OPW, it was broken twice final 12 months – as soon as in late April when somebody broke items off slabs of a tomb and grave, after which once more final August when the Kealty Tomb had a big piece damaged off the highest of the tomb.
In each circumstances, the OPW described the price concerned in remedial motion as “priceless”.
The price of restore for most of the relics and websites broken final 12 months was within the tons of of euro, though some prices had but to be decided.
One instance was a hearth on the Gardener’s Shed in Dublin’s Phoenix Park, which induced vital injury to a construction valued by the OPW at €110,000.
Injury at Athassel Abbey in Cashel, Co Tipperary final July meant a stone effigy that was on the wall was left on the bottom.
Carlow Citadel sustained injury in 5 separate incidents over the course of final 12 months, often involving compelled entry and damaged locks.
The Hill of Tara is positioned in Co Meath
Tombs on the megalithic cemetery in Carrowmore in Co Sligo have been broken on three separate events, together with having letters scratched into the face of a capstone.
That incident resulted in motion described as “An Garda Síochána to drive by to make their presence felt within the evenings, CCTV digital camera indicators erected”.
Elsewhere, masonry was stolen at Citadel Roche in Co Louth, two fairy plaques and benches have been burnt at Castletown Home in Celbridge, stones have been broken at Loughcrew in Co Meath, together with an unofficial lock being placed on a cairn, and a gravestone was smashed into three items at St Mary’s in Callan, Co Kilkenny.
Simply final month, gardaí started an investigation into vandalism on the historical Lia Fáil standing stone on the Hill of Tara in Co Meath, the place the phrase “pretend” was painted on to the 5,000-year-old granite stone, which is among the essential points of interest on the former seat of the Excessive Kings of Eire.
The incident was described as a “desecration” by Nick Killian, an Unbiased councillor and Cathaoirleach of Meath County Council.
Gardaí stated there have been no arrests and investigations are ongoing.
An OPW spokesperson stated intensive safety measures have been in place throughout heritage websites underneath its care and, the place deemed essential, are designed to be proportionate to handle “an actual, urgent and substantial downside”.
“A lot of heritage websites, significantly these positioned in rural settings, can typically provide unhindered public entry,” the spokesperson stated.
“The set up of safety measures in rural settings can pose a problem by way of accessible infrastructure and the visible and bodily influence on the positioning. As such, bodily safety measures aren’t at all times a possible possibility.
“The OPW in such cases depends on public help for the safety of the nationwide heritage property, significantly in being vigilant in reporting injury to Monuments as with the latest vandalism to the Lia Fáil. Public help is crucial with a purpose to foster larger understanding and appreciation of the necessity to preserve such an integral a part of Eire’s historic surroundings.”