Furious residents of the Cherryhill Estate in Kells were determined not to allow mindless vandals wreck their Pride of Place chances.An old pump that had been painstakingly restored by the residents, a bench and a wheelbarrow planter were destroyed by an acidic substance in a vandalism attack in the early hours of Wednesday morning, just hours before Pride of Place judges were due to arrive in Kells to meeting the residents committee.Angry parents in the estate point out that there are children who could have been badly injured if they came into contact with the substance and and elderly residents often use the seats for a rest when they are out walking."The thoughts of a child coming into contact with that substance - it would take their skin off," says Gillian Galligan secretary of Cherryhill Residents Committee.She explains that the damaged areas were cordoned off and neighbours came out to help sort it out."
"We were determined not to let it stop us and we went ahead with the judging - we had photographs of the pump when it was completed and in fairness the judges were very sympathetic. They offered to come back another day, but we decided to go ahead with it," she said,The incident has been reported to the gardai.The chairman of Kells Tidy Towns Committee, Brian Curran, said the incident was sickening and the town was in shock. "We hope the gardai find the culprits," he said."They destoyed some of the hard work of the local residents and it is frightening to think of the danger they put residents, especially children into."