Public anger as vandals uproot trees in Drumlish

John Cawley (left) pictured with Drumlish Tidy Towns Group members Mick Joyce and Billy Kellegher as they survey the damage following the destruction of recently planted trees on Halloween night in Drumlish. Photo: Annette Kane
These were the disheartening images Tidy Towns activists in Drumlish woke up to last Saturday morning after Halloween revellers took their celebrations a step too far.

These were the disheartening images Tidy Towns activists in Drumlish woke up to last Saturday morning after Halloween revellers took their celebrations a step too far.

Over half a dozen trees were left strewn across the grass of the north Longford village’s Mill Road in what locals have described as a senseless act of vandalism.

Chairperson of Drumlish Tidy Towns Annette Kane said residents had been left stunned by the incident.

“We need to get a grip on this type of anti-social behaviour,” she said. “People are enraged, they really are.”

Ms Kane said while it was not the first time episodes similar to last weekend’s incident had occurred along the Mill Road, it was the most damage Tidy Towns organisers had been faced with.

“There were trees which were also damaged in a nearby estate, too,” she said.

“Everything had been going so well until then. It was like a normal Halloween night. Children were out doing their tricking and treating and it was peaceful, but then this happened.”

Ms Kane said she received a phone call the following day at around noon, telling her of what had occurred just hours earlier.

She said while the matter had since been passed onto Gardaí to investigate, many within the community had a “fair idea” who the main culprits were.

“The problem is these trees were dear and to replace them could cost anything between €150-200 each to replace,” she claimed.

Ms Kane was not alone in registering her displeasure over the events of last weekend.

Local Councillor Martin Mulleady said it was a shame what had been an otherwise uneventful Halloween night was now being talked about for all the wrong reasons.

“It’s regrettable because 99 per cent of the night had been incident-free,” he insisted.

Cllr Mulleady said he hoped CCTV footage and a subsequent Garda investigation would pave the way to identifying those responsible.

Similar condemnation came from fellow local councillor and chairperson of Drumlish Community Alert Scheme Paraic Brady, who branded the damage an “absolute disgrace”.