‘Mindless idiots spoil the fun for everyone’

Alderman John Blair and Councillor Noreen McClelland survey the damage to the CowParade sculpture in Glengormley after vandals attacked it on Saturday. INNT 29-048-FP
Alderman John Blair and Councillor Noreen McClelland survey the damage to the CowParade sculpture in Glengormley after vandals attacked it on Saturday. INNT 29-048-FP

HEARTLESS vandals who wrecked colourful CowParade sculptures in Lilian Bland Community Park and Sixmilewater Park at the weekend have been branded “mindless idiots”.

The fibreglass cows on concrete plinths, which were designed by local schoolchildren as part of the Carrickfergus, Antrim and Newtownabbey (CAN) Peace III Partnership ‘Mooving Forward Together’ project, were only installed in both parks last week.

On Sunday evening (July 15) at Lilian Bland Park in Glengormley, yobs targeted the ‘Miss Glen’ sculpture created by more than 70 pupils from Ashgrove and Glengormley Integrated Primary Schools, with the help of artist Angela Ginn. The vandals stripped hundreds of coloured mosaic tiles from the artwork, completely destroying it.

The previous evening (July 14) at Sixmilewater Park in Ballyclare, the ‘Clare’ sculpture created by children from Ballyclare and Tir na nOg Primary Schools was badly vandalised and a smaller ‘Mini Moo’ sculpture was removed from its base and stolen. It has since been recovered by the PSNI.

The artworks, part of the overall CowParade taking place across Northern Ireland this summer, have now had to be removed.

CowParade NI organiser, Rachel Hart said: “We are shocked and saddened by the disgraceful and mindless vandalism.

“What makes this even more reprehensible is that these beautiful sculptures were made by hundreds of primary school children as part of a peace project. These youngsters will be heartbroken when they hear of what has happened.

“We are now working with the council and the Peace III Partnership to see how quickly we can repair the damage and get the cows back on display.

“CowParade Northern Ireland is unique in that the vast majority of our cows have been made by community groups as a celebration of their culture and identity. It is very sad that a few mindless idiots have decided to spoil the fun for everyone else.”

Read the full story in this week’s Times...