THOUSANDS of euro worth of damage has been caused to a County Limerick Chinese restaurant in what one local has described as a “dastardly act of vandalism”.
According to gardai, four individuals gained access to the premises in Croom - known locally as the Poets’ Corner - and caused extensive damage.
“They gained access through the back, caused damage to the kitchen, threw chairs around the premises and threw furniture out the front windows,” said a garda source.
A number of individuals have been questioned in relation to the incident.
According to community activist, Seamus Sheahan, the local community has been “outraged” by the incident.
“The premises was very, very badly damaged in this dastardly act of vandalism,” said Mr Sheahan who is also a member of Croom Development Association.
In response to the incident, local business people have decided to hold a number of events to raise money to restore the premises to its former glory.
“The amount of people who volunteered to clean up the Chinese restaurant – to replace sinks, fix the water pipes and dry out the floor – has been unbelievable,” continued Mr Sheahan.
“They took the decision to do their best to get these unfortunate people back in business. The whole community are 100% behind this project. Locals publicans have come on board and are having a night in each one of their pubs. There will be a raffle in each pub and a prize is being put up by the publican. All the funds will be held in trust for our Chinese neighbours. We want to see them back in business.”
In a separate incident on Thursday, a stallholder at the local market was the victim of thieves.
“While her back was turned, her money was taken. You get a spate of vandalism every now and then,” said Mr Sheahan.
He said the locals are now suffering as a result of the garda station being opened only a couple of hours during the week.
“The garda station is only opened for about four hours a week. It used to be open most days. It is an awful loss. There is no substitute for a garda on the beat. The main door in the church has to be closed most days now also,” he said.