Vandals who tore down new walking trail signs on a looped walk in the Knockmealdown mountains in South Tipp have been branded ‘social traitors’.
Hours after a sign at the trailhead of an approved national looped walk was erected near Ballyporeen, it was cut down and thrown in a river. Every other sign erected along that walk was also destroyed.
The action of the vandals has been described as ‘shameful’ and gardai are investigating the act of vandalism which occurred on December 19.
The vandalism has caused outrage in the area as the walk had involved co-operation from Coillte, Tipperary County Council, South Tipperary Development Company, local landowners, Tus, RSS workers and numerous volunteers. One of those volunteers, Will Nugent, said everybody involved in the project, which involved the creation and promotion of eight looped walks in the area, were very upset over the destruction of the signs.
“It is heartbreaking to see such a project destroyed by nothing short of mindless, vindictive, poorly educated traitors,” said Mr Nugent.
He said volunteers, members of the Knockmealdown Active covering an area taking in Newcastle, Ardfinnan, Goatenbridge, Clogheen and Ballyporeen, had worked tirelessly and selflessly organising events to raise money to support the walking trail project.
Eight nationally recognised looped walks and one 28km linear route from Newcastle to Ballyporeen have been developed and a launch of the project is scheduled to take place in January.
Mr Nugent appealed to the public to assist the gardai in the investigation. “We would hope that anybody with information about the vandalism that occurred in the Knockmealdown mountains and the loss of the walk signs would contact the gardai.
“One night of wanton destruction by a few toxic individuals has destroyed the good work, voluntary endeavour and multi-organisation co-operation” said Mr Nugent.
Anybody with information can contact Cahir Garda station at 052 7441222.