GRAFFITI vandals have attempted to destroy city buildings - now they are trying to do damage to the environment.
Trees on a riverside walk beside the Condell Road leading to Barrington’s Pier have been badly damaged by spraypaint-happy vandals.
Now, local councillor Michael Hourigan wants to see CCTV on the Shannon Bridge in order to stop the ‘artists’ in their tracks.
The nearby St Michael’s Rowing Club has also been targetted by tags, leading to a bill of €400 a time.
Club president Austin Reid has described the incidents as “sheer hooliganism”.
Despite officials at the club - which is reliant on donations - cleaning a first batch of graffiti up some weeks ago, it was not long befiore the vandals returned to the site and attacked their boundary wall again.
It is a major blow to the club, which is looking to build a new slipway.
“We are a voluntary club - we rely on our members to help out fundraising. We cannot afford to be spending money doing up walls. This is sheer hooliganism. What benefit does it serve,” Mr Reid asked.
Mr Reid believes the vandals actions are “taking from the image of our city.”
Asked what he feels their motivations are, he added: “I think they are deluded. Some of them think this is some form of art. How can it be art when they come out in the cover of darkness with spray paint twisted all over the place, then run away. Would they do it in their own home I wonder.”
Chairman of the joint policing committee, Councillor Hourigan described the damage as “unacceptable”, and said the local authority must meet the graffiti artists at their level.
In particular, he condemned the damage done to the city’s trees.
“This is a walkway which people use; it is a tourist attraction area. We must find a solution to the problem. I have asked Limerick City Council to bring in extra CCTV,” he said.
He said those people who are choosing to vandalise shop fronts, road signs and property in the city must develop a sense of civic pride.
“People need to realise there are consequences to their actions. People must take ownership of the city, its walkways and parks. If they see people acting anti-socially, they must report this to the proper authority. The people own the city: not the councillors or officials,” he concluded.
Over the last month, our sister newspaper the Limerick Leader has highlited the scourge of graffiti affecting the city centre and its surrounds.
The director of service at City Hall Caroline Curley has urged business owners and individuals to report the scourge as soon as they see it, by calling 061-407100.
In addition, the gardai have said anyone caught vandalising property could be facing a jail sentence of up to 12 months behind bars if convicted.