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Anger as vandals target World War One memorial

Local historian Johnny McCollum inspects the damage.

THE culprits who destroyed a World War 1 sculpture at the Cathedral Square earlier this week should be taken to the nearby market square and publicly flogged.

Mr Johnny McCollum, Vice Chairman of the Letterkenny Community Heritage Group, said that he was shocked and disgusted to find that vandals had smashed the sculpture by local man Redmond Herrity.

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The sculpture, which was unveiled by Donegal WW1 historian Paddy Harte and local man Johnny Keys from Sentry Hill, back in 2014 was erected in memory to the 91 men from the Letterkenny area who were killed in WW1.

“I’m speechless. Why do people engage in such acts of wanton vandalism? This was a premeditated act and those who carried it out should be taken down to the Square and flogged. It’s heart-breaking,” Mr Mc Collum said.

Members of the Letterkenny Community Heritage Group were only made aware of the vandalism of Wednesday afternoon.

“We don’t know when this happened but we’re not in a good place if we have to start erecting CCTV on every street corner in the town.

“Last week damage was caused to the Hiring Fair monument at the Market Square while a seat, erected in memory of May McClintock (in the green area at the front of St Eunan’s College) has also been damaged. Where it is all going to end?” Mr McCollum asked.

The sculpture is the work of local man Redmond Herrity whose Great Grandfather Barney Sweeney fought in the war.

Last week one of the figures in the sculpture depicting the days of the Hiring Fairs in the Market Square was pulled out.

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Early on the previous Saturday three thugs were filmed pulling out the contents of a flower bed and throwing them at passers-by. They also flung flaming bags at people.

When contacted by the Donegal News on Wednesday a garda spokesman said they knew nothing about the latest incident.

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