A FUNDRAISER has been planned after thieves stole a range of outdoor equipment including lawnmowers and strimmers from Stephenstown Pond Nature Park.
A new hedge cutting machine, leaf blower/cleaner and other equipment was also stolen during the robbery.
“In real terms, the gang of thieves robbed this community project of all its equipment that allows the workers to perform their daily duties in the upkeep and maintenance of this local natural wildlife habitat,” said a Stephenstown Pond spokesperson.
“It’s an area that provides much enjoyment for so many local people all over the county and indeed further afield.
“Everybody involved with the Stephenstown Pond project is totally devastated, as are so many kind visitors who have phoned up to offer their thoughts and indeed support.”
Workers at Stephenstown Pond and volunteers have rallied together and have been using their own equipment to maintain the upkeep of Stephenstown Pond following the robbery.
Local man Joe Duffy from Dundalk FM in conjunction with Vinny Byrne from Cluskey’s Bar and Restaurant at Little Ash, Knockbridge are planning a “Night of Great QUACK” in Cluskey’s to fundraise for replacement equipment for Stephenstown Pond
The stolen equipment was not covered by insurance as it was not possible to get insurance cover for the area where they were stored as it was not considered a fixed building.
“We might as well inform the thieves who were responsible for the dreadful damage, to what is simply a community-led project trying to do its best for local people and all visitors, that there is no equipment in this area or any other area at Stephenstown Pond since your visit,” said the spokesperson.
“Alternative arrangements have been made to store all equipment off site from now on. Gardai are in possession of the CCTV footage of the theft...so that is the good news part of the story.
“Thank you to everybody who has kindly contacted the Stephenstown Pond Project team since the robbery. Your support is greatly appreciated.”
A fun-filled, family-friendly afternoon is taking place at Stephenstown Pond on Sunday, April 1 for the launch of the new hotel at Stephenstown Pond.
Events are due begin at 2pm and will end at 5pm. All are welcome to attend.