Thursday 18 December 2014

Thieves target special needs centre days after fire attack

Paddy Clancy

Published 11/08/2014 | 02:30

Sandy Kelly with her daughter Barbara (33).
Sandy Kelly with her daughter Barbara (33).

A SPECIAL needs care centre has been hit by thieves just days after it was set on fire by vandals.

The Sligo Resource Centre was due to re-open next Monday following repair work after an arson attack 10 days ago.

However, last week, while workers were still scrubbing down the smoke-blackened walls, the centre was targeted again.

This time the patients’ flat-screen TV and a computer were stolen. Both were replacements after an earlier robbery.

A €2,000 safe was dislodged from wall. There was no money in it but the thieves also raided the store-room and stole patients’ food and vandalised the building.

The latest raid followed the arson attack in which €40,000 damage was done to specialist equipment and other materials. The fire was started by vandals frustrated when they couldn’t access a medicine cabinet.

Country singer Sandy Kelly, whose daughter Barbara (33),  attends the centre has appealed for the public to help investigating gardai.

“They have asked me to send out an appeal. Somebody knows something, even if they aren’t directly connected with the raid. Please, can they give any information they have, even if it is only anonymously.

“This centre, which helps 33 people with special needs aged from their 20s to early 70s, is a wonderful resource for them. It is a great help to families,” she said.

The singer, who lives in Strandhill, near Sligo town, added: “The thieves are real low-lives, stealing from a centre at a time when it is undergoing repair for an arson attack. I just can’t believe the evil in some people.”

Sandy  is organising a special fund-raising concert for the centre. It will take place in the Sligo Park Hotel on October 9.

Irish Independent

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