Vandals strike at heart of the community

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THERE has been wide-spread condemnation of the antics of vandals in Kirriemuir who struck right at the heart of the community (writes Janet Thomson).

Their action in targeting the impressive mosaic covered obelisk, which sits proudly at the entrance to Kirrie Hill, has angered all those involved in the successful project with Angus Councillor Ian Mackintosh pledging the vandals will not win.

Stressing the seriousness of their actions, he told the “Dispatch and Herald” that everyone was losers in this instance, including the tax-payers.

He said: “As far as the council is concerned this will be repaired. We don’t know how yet but we will be looking to see the best way to do it.

“We have got to send out a very clear message that they (the vandals) won’t win on this one.

“As far as I am concerned we have got to stop these criminal acts. There are people who know who is doing it and I urge them to come out and tell us who they are. We are all losing on this one.

“At the time people did say it would be vandalised, but that is no reason for not doing it. This was a huge community effort and I am so disappointed.

“It would have been so easy for us to walk away when people said the vandals would destroy it.

“We cannot allow the vandals to undo the good work.

“We must not just treat this as juvenile vandalism. It is a criminal act and it is essential that those responsible get caught. The council will assess how to repair it.”

The Peter Pan themed mosaic was unveiled last November as part of the hill’s £350,000 upgrade programme to mark the 150th birthday of Kirrie playwright J. M. Barrie.

Angus Council commissioned local artist and teacher Maureen Crosbie to work with locals and create a special piece of art for the new park entrance in a project which proved to be an over-whelming success.

The obelisk-like structure has four faces, each sporting designs devised by primary school pupils from the Kirriemuir cluster area. Maureen worked closely with the whole community who turned out in force to piece together the four mosaic images.

She too has expressed her disappointed at the action of the vandals, which has also been condemned by Tayside Police Constable Pam Colvin.

Constable Colvin said: “I feel as though it’s the worst form of vandalism because it’s against the community. I took part in putting the whole thing together and helped the kids as well.

“I was there every week they were doing it and saw the commitment and the enthusiasm of adults and young people.

“I can’t believe that we’ve got someone in the Kirriemuir community that thinks it’s okay to cause so much damage to something the community took a lot of pride in. I am really angry that something like this can happen because I really did think this would be left alone.”

Anyone with information on the vandalism is asked to contact the Tayside Police on 0300 111 2222.