£1k worth of “mindless vandalism” at youth centre

A YOUTH worker in Banbridge has expressed her shock and disgust after the window of a centre for young people was smashed causing around £100 worth of damage.

The glass front of the ENP centre in Rathfriland was smashed in what was labelled an act of “mindless vandalism” last weekend - just four months after the centre opened.

Youth worker Eimear McCurdie said she could not believe it when she discovered the shattered glass, and spoke of her regret that the money to replace it would have to come from within the centre’s budget.

“I honestly never thought something like this would happen in Banbridge,” said Eimear. “The saddest part is that the money will have to come from a budget that was set aside specifically for the young people of this centre.

“It was to be used for activities and things that would benefit them but now an act of mindless vandalism has eaten into that budget.”

Police said they are appealing for information on the incident, which is thought to have taken place between 2pm on Saturday May 26 and 6.30pm Monday May 28.

It is not known whether the incident was caught on CCTV but it is feared the camera may have been pointing towards Solitude Park at the time.

Eimear said the people using the centre have been left disappointed and frustrated since the incident.

“The centre just open a few months ago and the young people we work with had spent so much time cleaning the place out, decorating it choosing designs and having it exactly how they wanted it.

“Now that hard work has been undone in a way and it is so disappointing for everyone who uses this facility.”

Since the vandalism, Eimear said she is considering looking at extra security for the building.

“I never thought I would have had to look at putting a shutter on the front of the centre but we can’t pay all this money to replace the glass for someone just to come back and do it again.

“It’s a shame but it might have to be done.”

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact police in Banbridge on 0845 600 8000. Or if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details, they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111