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Mystery as digger punches holes in roof of derelict building

By Staff Reporter

Published 16/06/2016

The derelict Meenan Park building with five holes in the roof
The derelict Meenan Park building with five holes in the roof

Eyewitnesses told of their disbelief after a digger stopped outside a derelict building in Londonderry, punched five holes in the roof and left.

The earth move - mounted on the back of a low-loader trailer - targeted the abandoned Bogside building on Tuesday morning, leaving residents stunned and puzzled.

The mystery over the bizarre destruction spree has yet to be solved.

But some locals believe it could be connected to the reported theft of a digger, along with a rock breaker and riddling bucket, at Sheriffs Road over the weekend.

One woman who lives nearby said she was amazed at what had happened.

"I actually just saw the digger on the back of the lorry leaving, but I was so gobsmacked at these big holes in the roof of the building I didn't pay too much attention to the digger," she explained. "It made no sense to me at all as to why anyone would do that and then just leave. You only have to look at it to see that there can be logical reason to do that.

"That place has been lying like that for ages now and it was a real eyesore, but it is even worse now."

The Meenan Park building, which had been secured by local community groups, is now accessible again.

Charles Lamberton, from Triax, one of the groups that helped put up the fencing, called on the owner of the building to secure the site as a matter of urgency before someone was hurt or worse.

"We have no idea who did this or why it was done - it is totally illogical and bizarre," Mr Lamberton said.

A spokeswoman for the Housing Executive said the building was on a long-term lease to a private commercial company that was responsible for its security.

PSNI Inspector Johnny Hunter asked witnesses or anyone with information about the incident to contact officers at Strand Road.

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