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World War I memorial in Clare vandalised by 'spineless coward'

The memorial which came about after a number of years of fundraising is worth about €70,000.

Image: Cllr Mary Howard/Facebook

A GARDA INVESTIGATION is underway after a memorial commemorating those who died in World War I was vandalised in Ennis, Co Clare.

Former Mayor of Ennis, Mary Howard said she was “so angry” to find the memorial, which commemorates local people who died in the conflict, had been vandalised by a “spineless coward using a hammer or some such blunt implement”.

“This sort of behaviour is unacceptable as the memorial means so much to so many and has become an integral part of the built heritage of this town,” Howard wrote on Facebook.

The memorial which came about after a number of years of fundraising is worth about €70,000 according to Howard and was erected on 11 November 2016 to mark Armistice Day. 

11 November marks the signing of the treaty that ended World War I and is commemorated every year.

Every year, a moment of silence is held on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month to remember those that died in the war that ended in 1918.

The Fine Gael councillor said that a number services had taken place at the memorial since its completion and up until now “not as much as a wreath has been touched”.

memorial 3 Source: Cllr Mary Howard/Facebook

memorial 2

Howard told Morning Ireland on RTÉ Radio 1

“To think that somebody went there and that their motive was to destroy it is heartbreaking.

“Over 700 people from Clare died in World War I conflict, so, so many people are connected to it and visit it all the time.

“We were a number of years trying to fundraise and get it off the ground, it’s just over two years completed and we had it ready for our Armistice Day celebration in 2016.”

memorial 4 Source: Cllr Mary Howard/Facebook

Howard said that while the memorial will be replaced the committee is currently waiting to find out if the damage will be covered by insurance or if they will have to fundraise again.

The Ennis councillor told TheJournal.ie that the replacement glass panel is expected to cost an estimated five or six thousand euro. 

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Adam Daly

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