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Concern over "senseless vandalism" at St Martin's Special School in Waterford City

Concern over "senseless vandalism" at St Martin's Special School in Waterford City Concern over "senseless vandalism" at St Martin's Special School in Waterford City
Mary O'Neill

The principal of a school in Waterford City says the staff and pupils are suffering because of "senseless vandalism."

Richard Ryan says vandals are climbing over walls and fences at St Martin's Special School at St John's Villas in Lower Grange.

The school moved to a new state-of-the-art premises in 2017, and is equipped with a sensory garden and other facilities for pupils with special needs.

Speaking to Damien on Déise Today, Richard Ryan said that since April there's been escalating vandalism at the school. He said that on Saturday afternoon at about 2.30pm, three youths aged approximately 13 to 15 went on to the roof, crossed into the sensory garden, smashed the top of the Greenhouse, and threw the heavy weights through the roof.

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He added that the destruction has caused damage to ceiling tiles which means water is getting into the corridors of the school. Richard explained that sensory equipment is being damaged with sharp implements, causing "hundreds and hundreds of euro worth over damage over the last six weekends."

"It's gone to the stage where I have to come in before 8am on a Monday morning with the caretaker, and assess the damage that's been done over the weekend here," he said.

The principal said he has been supplying CCTV footage to the Guards, but to date, "nothing really has come back." He told Damien he's also flagged it politically with local councillors.

"It's so disheartening for the staff" he added.

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You can listen to Damien's full interview with Richard Ryan, through the link in this podcast.

For all Déise Today podcasts, click here.

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