Richhill’s War Memorial was “desecrated” as vandals went on the rampage in the centre of the village over the weekend.
As well as overturned flower pots, there was soil scattered across the memorial, which is located on the village’s main street.
Dr Alan Turtle, chairman of Richhill Improvements Association, condemned the incident,
He said, “It was disgusting. The place was desecrated. Flowers were torn out, pots at New Line were tipped over, and window boxes on the main street were overturned.”
Residents were quick to clean up the mess left behind by attackers, demonstrating how much the war memorial is valued in the village.
Unveiled in 2001, the memorial has become a significant part of Richhill life, drawing thousands of locals each Remembrance Sunday.
Richhill village has been awarded ‘Best Kept Large Village’ several times in the last ten years,
“We’ve been very fortunate over the years, in that it’s only occasionally been subjected to vandalism,” Dr Turtle said. “It’s just sad that it’s started again, and it’s the war memorial that’s been targeted.”
The incident was also condemned by Cusher DUP councillor Gareth Wilson who congratulated local people on their swift response to clean up the mess.
Just outside the village, the Church of St Patrick’s at Stonebridge was also the site of criminal activity on Sunday, when a car was broken into during Mass.
Despite the car being locked, the attacker smashed a window and stole a number of personal items.
Councillor Eamon McNeill warned, “It’s horrible to think that, even at your local church, you are vulnerable. Please ensure there is nothing left visible in your car that would attract a burglar.”
Whilst no one has been found responsible for either of the weekend’s attacks, anyone with information is urged to pass it on to the police on the non emergency number 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.