Vandalism at Loughcrew Cairns a 'mindless act of stupidity' - Guirke
The Sinn Fein TD for Meath West Johnny Guirke has criticised the vandals who recently etched graffiti on the 5000 year old cairns at Loughcrew.
A security company has been hired to carry out daily patrols at the cairns in a bid to deter vandals from damaging the monuments, which are located a short distance from Oldcastle.
Deputy Guirke said that he was "really disturbed at the news of a local monument spanning 5000 years being destroyed in a mindless act of stupidity up at the Neolithic burial monument at Loughcrew in Oldcastle".
"The Loughcrew Cairns date back to 3000 BC and are part of our natural heritage, this site brings tourism to Oldcastle and surrounding areas and is open all year round. The site is also known as the Hills of the Witch and is a group of four passage tombs.
"The site would always see large crowds gather for the Spring and Autumn equinoxes where the first rays of sunlight shine through as the cairn is aligned to sunrise."
Deputy Guirke urged members of the public who may have information on the vandals to contact their local garda station.
"Whether this person or group were bored and had nothing else to do, they should never have took it as far as destroying a site where guided tours take place on a regular basis. Tourists are really interested in these monuments as they look into the history of the site and the mythology of the cairns.
"These monuments may be unrepairable as the perpetrators etched their graffiti deep into the passage tombs at the Loughcrew Cairns site.
"This isn’t the first act of vandalism at the heritage site, there have been ongoing Anti-Social behaviour incidents by groups during the public health restrictions and they will continue to happen unless we catch them.
"I would urge anyone with information on the damage caused at the Loughcrew Cairns to contact the Garda Siochana and help them bring prosecutions against those involved in the incident."