Lead thieves wreak havoc in schools as classrooms flooded

Fiona Dillon

THIEVES have been stripping lead from the roofs of Dublin schools -- with fears the problem could get worse.

The principal of Scoil Mhuire Junior School in Blakestown, Charlotte MacMunn, has issued a circular to parents notifying them of the theft of the sheet metal, which is used to waterproof properties.

The circular told how the theft in April had resulted in "damage, disruption and upset within the school community".

She advised parents to be aware that there may be loose slates and to be careful on the school premises.

Local councillor David McGuinness (FF) said thousands of euro of damage had been caused, as water leakage had caused damage to white boards and computers. He said he had been in contact with Education Minister Ruari Quinn's office about the matter.


In an email, he said: "Two Dublin 15 primary schools, Scoil Mhuire junior and senior in Blakestown, had a serious act of vandalism and theft committed against them." He said that "lead flashing was stolen from the roof of each school leading to considerable flooding.

"This, as you can imagine, caused serious disruptions to staff and students as they battled with dealing with the water inflow and the damage that was caused to furniture and electronic equipment."

A response to Cllr McGuinness from the minister's office said that enquiries were being made about the matter.

Cllr McGuinness told the Herald that some of the newer schools wouldn't have lead flashing on their roofs but warned that many Dublin schools built 25 years or more ago could be targets.


There have been a number of high-profile thefts in the city.

In March, thieves took the lead sheeting from the roof of the bandstand in the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin. The roof of the bandstand in the Phoenix Park Hollow was also stripped that month.

The value of lead has increased and resulted in the targeting of heritage buildings and playground equipment.