Locals in the tightly knit community of Leugh, just outside Thurles, are this week up in arms following a distustinging act of vandalism and theft which has left their magnificent and unique outdoor Crib ruined.
The beautiful Crib, something of a tourist attraction in the rustic rural area, was constructed some fifteen years ago and has been a source of great pride to locals who were very protective of their outdoor tribute to the Holy Family.
But, Wednesday December 29th goes down as a dark day in Leugh when the Crib received some unwanted visitors who caused extensive damage to it, smashed one lifesize figurine, and removed Jesus, Mary and Joseph altogether. The discovery was made at approximately 3:00pm and what makes the whole scenario even more galling for locals is that it happened in broad daylight.
News of the attack on the Crib, which was built originally by a team led by the late Con O'Connor and Paddy Ryan, spread very quickly and caused a great deal of shock and distress to people. Indeed, the attack was reported at many Masses over the weekend in Thurles parish and in surrounding parishes also with a heartfelt appeal going out for those responsible to return the figures of the Holy Family, even under the cover of darkness.
Full story in this week's Tipperary Star. If they have any bit of remorse or sense of right in them, I would ask them to return our figures to us," the local said.
The Crib and adjoining Grotto are two stand-out features of the Leugh area and are nestled neatly between the community hall and Leugh National School. A busy spot just outside Thurles, Gardai are appealing to anyone who may have travelled the road or may have spotted anything suspicious in the area to contact them immediately. The figures would have to have been removed by a vehicle of some kind, given their size and weight.
Thurles Gardai are contactable at 0504 21111.