LIFE rings were removed from their housings and hung around the ‘Children of Lir’ art sculpture in Ballycastle at the weekend.
The theft of the life preservers from the local beach occurred less than a week after a child was accidentally drowned on Runkerry Beach near the Giant’s Causeway.
The vandalism has received an angry response from Independent Councillor, Padraig Mc Shane, who was called to the scene early on Sunday morning.
He said: “It is almost impossible to contemplate what is going through someone’s mind while they are engaged in these acts. The clear impression conveyed would indicate those responsible have no moral or intellectual compass. Are they aware of what took place less than a week before in a beech no more than ten miles from where they carried out this mindless act?
“While it is always hoped this type of equipment is never required, it is essential that it is in place should the need arise. It is also very important that the equipment is within easy access to those who may require it. Unfortunately this leaves it at the mercy of vandals.”
Children have subsequently used the ropes tangled around the art sculpture to swing on it and were observed using it as a ‘climbing frame’.
Said Cllr McShane: “This has led to other pertinent safety issues and would never have materialised without the loutish input of those who destroyed the Life saving equipment. Moyle District Council will move swiftly to repair and replace the equipment.”
In recent months metal beach safety signs were stolen from beaches around north Antrim.