Saturday 31 January 2015

Santa quits after young thugs pelt him with eggs at Christmas lights ceremony

Niall O’Connor

Published 17/12/2012 | 12:37

Santa arrives in Newbridge to turn on the Christmas lights. Photo: Michael Donnelly
Santa arrives in Newbridge to turn on the Christmas lights. Photo: Michael Donnelly

A SANTA Claus has vowed to hang up his red suit for good after he was pelted with eggs just moments after switching on a town's Christmas lights.

Robbie Devereaux said he was left “completely humiliated” after being targeted by a group of unruly youths in Newbridge, Co Kildare.

The local man, who has been one of Santa’s helpers for four years, was in the passenger seat of a fire truck when he was pounded with a number of eggs.

Gardai in the town are investigating the incident after a complaint was made by a local politician.

Speaking to the Evening Herald, Mr Devereaux said the youths “spoiled” the event – as well as his Santa suit.

“To be honest, I felt absolutely humiliated. The kids were having a ball and everything was going so well. But as we were driving through the town in the fire truck, we were pelted with eggs,” he said.

“It's a real shame but I hope the culprits who did it are caught. They spoiled the entire evening and ruined it for everyone. And my suit is covered in eggs.”

While Robbie was only hit on his side, the driver of the vehicle was pounded with an egg in the face.

The culprits ran away but it's understood that they are from the local area. Robbie said he was “very annoyed” by the events – which took place on December 8 – and has vowed to give up impersonating Santa.

“This is the last year I will do it. I have been one of Santa’s helpers for four years and really enjoyed it but after that humiliation I'm giving it up. It's a great shame because I really enjoyed doing it for the kids.”

Deputy Lord Mayor Damian Molyneaux reported the matter to gardai as it “could have been far worse”.

“I would call on anyone who saw the incident to contact gardai,” Cllr Molyneaux said.

Perhaps the teenagers themselves aren't aware of the seriousness of their actions.

“This Santa has done great things for the town, he's brilliant with the kids.”

“Having said all that, the incident has not killed the Christmas spirit in the town. There's a great feel about the place and loads of things for people to do in the run-up to the big day.”

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