Vandals target new art school
LESS than two months before it opens, the new €230,000 Creative Code building at Gorey School of Art has already been targeted by vandals twice within the past week
Evidence of heroin use has been found on the building site which is next to a third level facility, a secondary school, primary school, youth club and creche.
A large plate glass window on the first floor was smashed last weekend, while the glass in a ground floor door was smashed on Tuesday night. 'The windows are only in place less than two months,' said Gorey School of Art Director Paul Carter. 'The building works are about a week away from completion, and this is very frustrating and disappointing.'
'Both panes in the double glazed window will have to be replaced,' he added. 'Not only have we had vandalism twice inside a week, but we've also had activity on the site over the last month relating to drug abuse, and the Gardaí have been called several times.'
He said he has found needles on several occasions. 'This poses a serious health and safety risk, especially so close to the Gorey School of Art students, and neighbouring buildings such as Gorey Youth Needs which has a creche, Gorey Community School, and the Loreto.'
Paul said that when the Gardaí called on one occasion, a rucksack containing a needle was found abandoned by two heroin users who fled the scene. Up to four other needles have also been found and disposed of.
'This activity seems to be restricted to weekend, so in an attempt to stamp out this activity, we locked the gates at both ends of the Mary Ward Lane,' explained Paul. He added that security lights and cameras have now been installed on site.
He estimated that the cost of repairing the damage will be between €1,000 and€2,000. 'We'd urge people living in the vicinity of the Mary Ward Lane to be as vigilant as possible, and report any incidents of trespass, however minor, to local Gardaí,' he said.
'This is a project that the people of Gorey have funded and supported,' he said.
'This building will be providing training and job opportunities for Gorey's youth and unemployed, as well as providing exhibition opportunities for local artists and creative clubs for children.'