7 October 2011 No Comments by The Northern Standard

By Veronica Corr

Last Thursday night, the grotto incorporating the statue of Our Lady of Lourdes on Castle Street, commonly known as the Convent Hill adjoining the Ardee Road, was vandalised.
The statue was so badly smashed that it has been deemed beyond repair. Local people on their way to Mass on Friday morning discovered that the statue had been destroyed and reported the vandalism to long-term caretaker Eddie Byrne.
The statue was presented to Brother Serenus by a nun in Portadown, and he decided to erect the shrine, which was unveiled on February 2nd, 1989.
This is not the first time that the statue has been vandalised, as it was less severely damaged eleven years ago. Eddie, who looks after Carrickmacross’s shrines on a voluntary basis, repaired it on that occasion. After the incident, he also installed more bars, so that no-one couldn’t reach in.
However, vandals more than likely used a stick to over-balance the statue and this time irreparable damage was sustained.
Eddie commented that he was “very disappointed” that this part of Brother Serenus’ legacy to Carrickmacross had been vandalised. The 20th anniversary of Brother Serenus’ death occurs on November 3rd this year, RIP.
The caretaker also appealed to the public and church representatives, who might own a suitable replacement, to consider donating it to the town, adding that the new statue will be secured more firmly at the base.
The broken statue of Our Lady of Lourdes was approximately four feet high. Eddie has got the exact measurements.
If you have a suitable replacement in your possession and would like to see it take pride of place in the grotto in the heart of Carrickmacross, please call Eddie Byrne on 087 064 4538.
The incident took place some time between 9pm on Thursday, September 27th and the following morning.
Anyone with information regarding this act of vandalism is asked to contact Gardaí in Carrickmacross on 042 966 1222.

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