BORED YOUTHS are creating havoc with the heritage of Ferns and desecrating gravestones during their drunken antics. Church of Ireland Dean Leslie Forrest has been counting the cost of damage inflicted by vandals who have broken fifty small panes of glass in the windows of the historic St. Edan's cathedral.
The wreckers have also cracked the pane of glass protecting the magnificent east window in the cathedral. Meanwhile, St. Mogue's thatched cottage has been broken into; the floodlighting at Ferns Abbey has been knocked out; and tombstones at the ancient site of St. Peter's church have been levelled – all during the past four months. And the mindless yobbery has hit close to home for the Reverend Forrest, as intruders broke into the garage beside the deanery and put two lawn mowers out of commission.
'We have had a lot of vandalism over the last couple of months – youngsters getting stoned and doing all sorts of unpleasant things,' said Leslie Forrest who described what had been going on during Monday's Pat Kenny show on R.T. E. radio. 'You can call it desecration if you like.'
The parish has been left to pick up the mess of gangs leaving a trail of beer cans and other debris. The community of Ferns has been outraged at the behaviour of the delinquents who knocked over the gravestone of one of the dean's predecessor in St. Peter's cemetery. They also tried to knock over the nearby nineteenth century Celtic style cross, chipping away at the concrete base of the massive memorial.