The windows were smashed overnight
THE windows at the former St John’s Church in Johnsgate village were smashed overnight in an incident described as “pointless, deliberate vandalism”.
The building, which lies in the shadow of St John’s Cathedral, has been home to Dance Limerick, and is held in trust by Limerick City and County Council.
Prior to this, it was widely known as the Daghda Dance Hall, before the group renamed.
Limerick Leader columnist Nigel Dugdale, who lives in the area and has written about the issues it faces in the past, described the move as “another reflection of how low the area of Johnsgate has stooped”.
Sinn Fein councillor Séighin Ó Ceallaigh called for greater garda visibility in the area, with the vandalism understood to have been carried out by local youths.
And Sheila Deegan, arts officer with the council, pledged the facility will remain open.
“It’s just an act of vandalism. The windows themselves are of no historical value. They were only put in back in 2004. In fact, they were due to be replaced from a heat point of view later this year,” she said, “These things happen in cities. It’s not acceptable. It’s a resource for the public and dancers, and we will be ensuring this continues.”
One local resident, who requested not to be identified, said: “The windows are protected by metal bars. They actively went under these. It was a deliberate attempt to try and smash windows, and they have nearly done every one.”
“Not only is it pointless, it’s also deliberate vandalism. The area has become an absolute mess in terms of people hanging around,” they said, “People are climbing the walls, drinking and doing drugs in the graveyard.”
Cllr Ó Ceallaigh, who represents the area, and also chairs the council’s cultural committee, added: “There is anti-social behaviour and then there’s crime. It’s time to call crime what it is. People in that area are being terrorised by young thugs who see no consequence for themselves. They don’t care. Some of them have not made their confirmation yet, and they are out there causing havoc.”
The Gardai have been notified about the incident.
Contact Henry Street garda station at 061-212400.