Plant thieves hit Garda roundabout

PLANT thieves, who knew exactly what they were looking for, have hit Castleisland Tidy Towns Committee hard in recent weeks.

In a lowdown act of criminal and environmental vandalism and sheer selfishness, the thieves struck the recent planting project at the Garda Eugene Leonard Roundabout on the Killarney Road and stole only the most expensive plants there.

"The thieves knew exactly what they wanted and left with the plants that cost the most and had another one pulled out. This was one of the worst and most disappointing setbacks we have had in more than 30 years of Tidy Towns. We are upset for our sponsor, our workers and the community," said a spokesperson for the group.

"The landscaping on the roundabouts aims to convey to drivers on the bypass that Castleisland is a town worth a detour. All the effort there is meant to show that the town reflects the attractiveness of the roundabouts. It was recommended in the Tidy Towns adjudications over the past two years that it would be important to have the roundabouts landscaped.

"We would ask locals to keep an eye out for any activity in the area in the future especially late at night and pass any information to a Tidy Towns member or the Gardai. It is more than likely that someone saw these people in action as this is one of the busiest stretches of roadway in the system," said the spokesperson.

Taking heed of the advice of the Tidy Towns adjudicators, the committee here made an appeal for sponsors to help with the work on the roundabouts. They spoke with several people and companies who expressed an interest in getting involved with the project.

"We worked very hard to design the plan, pick out the plants that would give colour throughout the year and spent two weeks in rain and shine with our FÁS workers and Kerry County Council preparing, planting and spreading the stones.

But last weekend when the project was nearing completion two of the biggest and most expensive plants were stolen from the centre of the roundabout," said the committee member.

They believe that someone out there knows exactly where these plants are now and they may even have been offered for sale in the locality or beyond.

"However, on a lighter note: Local people are commenting on how well the town looks. This is true, especially this year. Our volunteers, FAS workers and the Co. Council workers are doing a fantastic job and are to be commended," the spokesperson said.

The Garda Confidential Line is: 1800 666 111 and Castleisland Garda Station number is 066 71 41204.


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