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'Criminal damage' Probe launched after Limerick school daubed with anti-mask and anti-Covid slogans

A number of slogans including, “COVID IS A HOAX”, and, “NO MASKS”, were sprayed onto the front of the building shortly before 6am, this morning.

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Castletroy College, Limerick

Castletroy College, Limerick

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Castletroy College, Limerick

A garda investigation is underway after a masked “intruder” destroyed the front of a Limerick school building with “anti-mask” and “anti-Covid” slogans.

The perpetrator, who may have been assisted by others, was captured on CCTV cameras spray painting the front of Castletroy College secondary school.

The footage which was captured on security cameras at the school has been forwarded to gardai.

A number of slogans including, “COVID IS A HOAX”, and, “NO MASKS”, were sprayed onto the front of the building shortly before 6am, this morning.

Castletroy College Principal, Padraig Flanagan, said: “An intruder came in early this morning and proceeded to daub the whole front of our building with anti-Covid and anti-mask slogans, it’s a very serious act of criminal damage.”

“We are all day trying to investigate it and remove it, which is proving difficult enough. It’s spray painted and it’s particularly challenging, but we are making progress.”

Mr Flanagan said there appeared to be “nothing personal nor nothing about personal about the school”.

“It’s ‘anti-mask’ and ‘anti-covid’ and all that kind of stuff, so it sounds as if it’s somebody who has pro-civil liberties, or whatever agenda,” he said.

“There’s no issue in the school that we are aware of, certainly not with a student or past student or parent, so from our point of view we are baffled as to why we were chosen.”

Mr Flanagan said the school building may have been chosen because of its “very prominent, public front”, which overlooks a busy thoroughfare.

“It was early this morning, between 5am-6am. We have (CCTV) and the gardai have got same.”

It appears there was “only one” individual involved, however Mr Flanagan said he was “not discounting there could have been more than one involved”

“It’s upsetting for the school, students, and parents, and staff, alike. They’ve very upset about it.”

“The gardai have been here and are investigating; they have been very supportive, and we are very appreciative of how quickly they were on the scene this morning.”

The removal and painting is likely to be “time-consuming and expensive”, he said.

Principal Flanagan appealed for information that may help gardai “apprehend the individual/s because it’s a serious act of vandalism and criminal damage to our school”.

A garda spokesman said: “Gardaí are investigating an incident of criminal damage which occurred in Castletroy, Co Limerick at approximately 6am this morning.”

“No arrests have been made. Enquiries ongoing,” they added.

Local Fine Gael TD, Kieran O’Donnell said: “I outright condemn the serious acts of Covid-19 conspiracy graffiti vandalism at Castletroy College that took place overnight. These graffiti contained Covid hoax slogans and caused damage to front walls of the school.

“This criminal behaviour flies in the face of the huge efforts we as a community are taking to control the spread of Covid-19.

“Irresponsible acts of vandalism such as this will not weaken our resolve to continue tackling this deadly virus which has had an unprecedented impact on all our lives. This is a very difficult time for everyone.

“Earlier today, I met with Castletroy College Principal, Mr. Padraig Flanagan and I wish to commend him and his staff in the professional and caring manner they have dealt with this act of vandalism which has caused such upset to parents and students.

“I welcome An Garda Siochana's investigation to locate perpetrator.“

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