'Mindless thuggery': over €10,000 worth of damage done to leisure centre
The burglary and ransacking of the Nenagh Swimming Pool and Leisure Centre has been been described by a top local representative as “mindless thuggery”.
Over €10,000 worth of damage was caused to the highly popular public amenity in what appears to have been a highly organised break-in on last Thursday night.
Power lines feeding the public lighting were severed and the CCTV and alarm system disabled. The phone lines were also cut.
Hair dryers in the dressing rooms were pulled from the fixtures on the walls and the sweets and soda drink dispensers smashed.
Power boxes, the fire alarm controls, intruder alarm and computer monitors were also destroyed.
“The smashed anything they thought contained money,” the centre Manager, Tom Mackey told this newspaper.
The intruders managed to steal a small amount of cash, but the extent of the damage caused for a relatively small haul of money has outraged the people of the town, many of home took to social media to express their fury over the incident.
Marcus O’ Connor, Tipperary County Council’s Director for the Nenagh Municipal Area said: “We are looking at over €10,000 worth of damage. It has caused a major inconvenience for us as a council and for the public who use the facility.”
Due to the extensive damage, the council was forced to close the centre as the local authority’s maintenance workers went about cleaning up after the devastation. Thankfully there was no damage done to the swimming pool.
As we went to press on Tuesday, Mr Mackey said it was hoped that the facility would be re-opened later in the day.
News of the break-in became public last Friday morning after the centre itself posted a message on its Facebook page informing the public of the incident.
It said a “significant amount of damage” had been done to the centre.
“It is unsafe to use the building due to bare wires and some alarm systems that are not totally working normally,” the centre stated.
The issue was raised by Independent local councillor Hughie McGrath at a meeting of Tipperary County Council on Monday last in the Civic Offices in Nenagh.
Councillor McGrath said the centre had been “seriously vandalised”, and urged the gardaí to carry out a thorough investigation in their efforts to find those responsible.
“The people of Nenagh have been outraged that this has happened,” he said. “The council put a lot of money into upgrading the centre some years back, and we are very proud over what we have achieved there.”
Acting Cathaoirleach of the council, Councillor Seamus Hanafin, declared: “This is mindless thuggery, and I roundly condemn what has happened.”
Mr O’ Connor told councillors: “Fortunately, there was not much cash for anyone to take in the centre.”
Sergeant Declan O’ Carroll of Nenagh Garda Station, said “significant damage” had been caused in the break-in. He said entry was gained through a rear door of the complex. He appealed for the public’s assistance in helping to bring the culprits responsible before the courts.