Belfast Telegraph

Vandals target Galgorm Castle fairy trail and play park

The blaze at Avoniel play park
The blaze at Avoniel play park
Mark Bain

By Mark Bain

Extensive damage has been caused to a popular Co Antrim family attraction for the second time in just over a week.

Galgorm Castle Fairy Trail in Ballymena was targeted in an overnight attack on Monday night resulting in over £750 worth of damage.

It will now be a race against time to have the trial restored in time for children to enjoy over the busy Easter period. Doors, hand carved from 139-year-old redwood, were destroyed by vandals who left behind Chinese takeaway wrappers and drink tins at the site.

Allan Hamilton, CEO of Brilliant Trails, which installs attractions across Ireland, said the attack isn't just damaging the business, but hurting those who work there.

"They've come in after that and had a Chinese and left tins of Boost lying around and then decided to vent their anger on the doors.

"Richard, our groundsman, was the one who discovered the damage. He has learning difficulties and he's been working with us now for the past two years. So really it's more on his behalf we're concerned about it, it's his welfare because he will get very down about this.

"There's about £750 worth of damage done, each of the doors are a 139-year-old sequoia redwood which are hand cut and carved to specific sizes, so it's £150 per slab of sequoia then to get them made and the parts. It all adds up," he said.

Elsewhere, a DUP councillor has described an arson attack on an east Belfast children's playground as a "scandalous act".

Adam Newton said play equipment in Avoniel worth many hundreds of pounds was destroyed on Monday. "Whoever carried out this senseless act of vandalism has absolutely no respect for local youngsters," he said.

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