'The box was in a local park beside a Santa’s grotto so a lot of kids would have put money in as well'
Heartless thieves have been branded ‘the Grinches who stole Christmas’ after they stole a charity donation box containing hundreds of euro from beside a villages Christmas lights display.
The robbery has left locals in the village of Omeath in County Louth fuming as the funds donated are used to improve the Christmas lights each year and this time any excess funds were to be distributed to local charity groups.
A spokesman for the Omeath Action Group told the
Sunday World: "The money was stolen last Wednesday December 29th and it was a pretty mean spirited theft as most people around here would be aware that the donations left in the box go to make the lights display better for the following year.
"We have been getting more and more money each year and this time we decided that we would give what is left over to local community groups, so it is not just us who will suffer because of the theft.
‘"Whoever did this really are the Grinches who stole Christmas.
"The box was in a local park beside a Santa’s grotto so a lot of kids would have put money in as well.
"We have reports of people acting suspiciously in the park where the box was located on Wednesday night and we have forwarded the details of that on to the guards.
"We would ask anyone with information or sightings of any suspicious activity over the last few evenings to contact our Facebook page or any Garda station.
"CCTV footage is currently being viewed to confirm the exact time it happened and we’d ask if anyone who visited the grotto in recent days if you could let us know if the donation box was still intact at the time of your visit in order help Garda with their inquiry’s."
A source revealed: "People around the village are very annoyed and angry over this, the group who organise the Festival Of Lights each year are all volunteers and this is a real kick in the teeth for them.
"The donation box is there so that people can contribute privately to a worthwhile cause and whoever did this has upset an awful lot of people."
The theft has sparked a furious reaction on social media with one Facebook poster saying: ‘There are still dirty shameful people out there, hope they are caught and shamed.'
Another said: 'OMG how could anyone stoop so low.'