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Investigation launched as vandals damage Limerick beat boxes

One of the vandalised beat boxes in Ballynanty

One of the vandalised beat boxes in Ballynanty

THE company behind the Beat the Street initiative in Limerick has confirmed a number of beat boxes have been removed from the game after they were vandalised.

A small number of the 82 beat boxes which are located across the city were damaged overnight on Tuesday into the early hours of Wednesday.

While most of them were repaired, four were removed as the cases were smashed and the interior circuitry damaged.

Several of the damaged beat boxes which were located in highly used areas such as outside schools were replaced this Wednesday. 

A spokesperson for Intelligent Health, which operates the Beat the Street initiative, says the impact on the game, which has attracted more than 11,000 participants has  been minimal.

Separately, the Limerick Leader revealed this week that local organisers of Beat the Street have confirmed they have begun deducting points from individuals who they suspect have been cheating at the game.

It emerged that a small number of participants have been travelling by car to beat boxes.

Some have also been observed ‘tapping’ multiple cards at beat boxes – accumulating points for other players.

Phelim Macken of Limerick Sports Partnership – one of the key partners in the Beat the Street initiative –  says it’s disappointing that some people have been caught cheating.

“The idea is to get children involved in exercise and to get them out walking and cycling and we have seen loads of parents and we have seen grandparents out around the city since the game began,” he said, adding that there are reports of people cheating in other cities where the game is also being played.

Mayor of the Metropolitan District, Cllr Sean Lynch, says it is sad that some people have chosen to cheat in the game.

“Beat the Street has been a fantastic initiative for Limerick, it’s about having fun and getting people – young and old – out and being active by cycling and walking,” he said.

“The message needs to go out that people can’t be driving around. It’s giving the wrong message to kids and I would appeal to people to play the game in the way it’s supposed to be played,” he added.

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