Thursday 22 August 2019

Grieving father tells of his anger as his daughter's memorial grotto is ransacked three times

Carol lost her life in a single vehicle accident fifteen years ago.
Carol lost her life in a single vehicle accident fifteen years ago.
Alec feels the Gardaí need to enforce the rules of the road more effectively

Sarah-Jane Murphy

A father has said that flower pots forming part of a commemorative plaque in honour of his fifteen-year-old daughter who was killed in a road crash have been stolen three times.

Alec Lee said that he built a 'grotto' containing flowers and photographs at the location where his daughter in Gurteen in Co.Waterford.

Carol Lee lost her life in a single vehicle crash fifteen years ago.

The 17-year-old driver of the car also died in the crash and a photograph of him is also displayed on the memorial.

Alec maintains the grotto regularly, keeping it clean and ensuring it's freshly painted.

"I have lovely ceramic pots with tubs of flowers in them.

"Last year they were robbed so I drilled holes in the concrete and bolted the ceramic container to the ground.

"Three weeks later the tubs were taken again.

"They tried to take the lot but the bolts meant they couldn't," he told RTE Radio One's Liveline.

Alec said he would be happy to buy pots of flowers for the thieves if they were "that badly stuck for them".

"How low down can you get?

"You can see the photos of two people that died, you take the flowers, then you see the parents have replaced them and you take them again," he said.

He revealed that he was shocked when the flowers were stolen for a third time a couple of weeks later.

"These people must have no humanity, to come along and callously do that.

"It's hard enough to visit the place where she died but to see someone has been there robbing things makes it worse," he said.

Alec said that he doesn't dwell on the things that his daughter never got to experience in life as it's too depressing.

"You try to remember the fifteen and a half years that you had together," he said.

He admitted that he struggled to accept the sudden nature of Carol's death.

"It happened in the blink of an eye, one minute they're in a car and the next they're dead."

Alec was critical of the Gardaí, saying that in his opinion they don't enforce the rules of the road sufficiently.

"The Gardaí simply aren't doing their job in relation to boy-racers.

"For some reason they are reluctant to clamp down on them," he said.

He described Carol as a beautiful girl who was the centre of attention among her friends.

"She won't be forgotten," he said.

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