Beautiful wildlife sculptures targeted by thugs

The animal sculpture with its tail cut off and deep gashed carved into the woodwork.

MINDLESS vandals have targeted beautifully carved wooden sculptures located along a scenic walkway in Killarney National Park.

The polished sculpture and plinth was targeted by vandals. Pictures: Andy OSullivan

The painstakingly carved pieces of art added a whole new dimension to the woodlands of the River Deenagh walk from the bridge on Port Road to Deenagh Cottage.

The carvings – pictured below after they were installed – depict an owl, a red squirrel, an otter, a heron, a kingfisher, a pine marten and a Greenland white fronted goose and they were unveiled earlier this year by the local tidy towns committee.

Two of them were badly damaged by thugs in recent days and the wanton act of vandalism has caused great upset in the town.

Some of the sculptures had pieces broken off and some of the polished woodwork was destroyed with gaping holes cut into the feature pieces.

The meticulously carved and suitably weather treated sculptures boast a remarkable likeness to the creatures they highlight and they are beautifully set on various natural wood plinths.

The mini sculpture trail was hugely popular with pupils from the local national schools who are able to learn from a storyboard all about the wildlife in the area.

The seven sculpture pieces along the River Deenagh are the work of Sol Solomon of Wyrdwood in West Cork and the idea behind the sculpture walk was to raise awareness and to encourage parents and children to watch out for and pay attention to the wildlife on their doorstep. The tidy towns competition has evolved in recent years and this type of project in now deemed essential to create awareness in relation to biodiversity and sustainability.

The national park at Knockreer is a notorious night-time gathering spot for groups of young people and outdoor drinking sessions are a regular feature in the area.

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