Thugs cause ‘mindless’ damage to primary school

By Mary Dennehy

SCOIL Chaitlín Maude received hundreds of offers of help from the community after it was substantially damaged during a burglary this week, only days after re-opening for a new school term.

Smashing through a window, the culprits caused “mindless” damage to the school, ramming through doors with fire extinguishers and leaving classrooms and communal areas littered with glass.

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The broken window in one of the classrooms

Due to the level of damage caused, the Killinarden primary school was unable to open for its 344 pupils on Tuesday morning.

Speaking with The Echo, school Principal Bairbre Ní Ghoill said that the alarm system had, late on Monday evening, been externally tampered with and disabled prior to a window being smashed some time later – and the culprits gaining entry.

According to Ms Ní Ghoill: “They gained access through one large window and once inside, any door that was locked they used a fire extinguisher as a battering ram.

“Six internal doors have been damaged, they even broke into the cleaning cupboard.

“It was so pointless, they got some coins that had been collected by the children… and that was to go towards buying sports equipment.

“Most of the damage was mindless.”

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A window smashed in one of the doors

She added: “It was very upsetting for the kids, some of the kids who arrived at the school on Tuesday morning were crying.

“They were worried for their school and worried for their teachers.

“Parents and the wider community are very annoyed over the break-in, and everyone has rallied around the school.

“We’ve had hundreds of offers of support from parents to help clean the school, and we really appreciate that.

“Killinarden is such a great community, the parents are amazing and the kids are amazing.

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A smashed door

“This has been very hurtful for the community.”

On Tuesday, the school was made safe for the children’s return on Wednesday, with the building also secured and the alarm system upgraded.

Ms Ní Ghoill has encouraged anybody with information on the break-in or who saw anything suspicious in the vicinity of the school on Monday night, into the early hours of Tuesday morning, to contact Tallaght Garda Station.

A Garda spokesperson told The Echo that they are investigating a suspected burglary incident between the hours of 2am and 6am on Tuesday, September 10.

“No arrests have been made and investigations are ongoing”, the spokesperson said.

Contact Tallaght Garda Station on 6666000.

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