'Tens of thousands’ worth of damage done to newly-built social houses
GARDAI in Co Carlow have launched an investigation after social houses due to be turned over to the council in two weeks were destroyed by vandals overnight.
Senator Jennifer Murnane O’Connor said that "tens of thousands" worth of damage was done to the new homes, with most of the copper pipes removed.
Between eight and 12 houses were damaged in the attack, out of a total of 63 on the site being prepared for housing schemes. The senator estimated that the damage amounted to over €15,000.
"It’s malicious, it was very bad vandalism,” Ms Murnane O’Connor told Independent.ie. “It’s unacceptable, and it’s very disappointing to see when we have a housing crisis.
“There’s over 13,000 people on the waiting list for a home with Carlow County Council.”
Photos from the incident show fences that were knocked over, windows smashed in and pipes torn from the walls.
The houses have not yet been handed over to the council for resident allocation, but Ms Murnane O'Connor believes that families will now be waiting an extra three or four weeks before they can move in.
“A lot of people are looking for these houses, they’re stunning three-bedroom houses. Families need security and there’s a lot of disappointment that something like this would happen,” she said.
“This incredible wanton vandalism will delay the process by a massive amount of time, time which is precious for those on the waiting list for their forever home.”
Ms Murnane O’Connor said the contractors and builders were working to repair the damage as quickly as possible.
A garda spokesperson confirmed that they are investigating “multiple incidents of criminal damage caused to houses on a building site” that occurred on August 19 at 2am.
“No arrests have been made and investigations are ongoing,” they said.