‘People are very upset’ after statue of Our Lady damaged
The damaged statue of Our Lady outside St Mark's Church

‘People are very upset’ after statue of Our Lady damaged

A STATUE of Our Lady, installed outside a church to provide solace to people during Covid-19, was badly damaged by an act of “mindless vandalism” over the weekend.

The vandalism took place at St Mark’s Church, Tallaght, late on Saturday night – early Sunday (May 13/14) morning.

The Our Lady statue provided much needed support and a place of prayer for people who couldn’t attend Mass or church during lockdowns, and survived many a storm over the last two years.

“People are very upset – the Our Lady statue had become a focal point for the community,” said Fr Pat McKinley, moderator for the Springfield parish of St Mark’s. “Last night, a young couple stopped by and offered €80 to help restore the statue.

Another young woman said it had encouraged her to return to say prayers, which she did outside on the way to work.

“There was fresh flowers at the statue every day and it was maintained by people all throughout the two years.

One of the local parishioners saw the damage when she was planting on Sunday morning.”

The statue was installed at the outset of covid in March 2020, “one of the first things we did at the time”, according to Fr McKinley, who also oversees parishes in Fettercairn, Jobstown and Brookfield.

Residents responded to a social media post on the vandalism by the parish by sharing their own stories of how the enjoyed their time with the Blessed Mother.

One woman said her grandkids will be “heartbroken” as family died during Covid, the could not go to funerals, and put “flowers and stones with their names at the grotto.”

All is not lost however, with plans in place to return Our Lady to the parish.

“A couple of parishioners took her away to see if they can fix it but it was damaged badly by mindless vandalism,” said Fr McKinley.

“It will be repaired or replaced, and hopefully more permanently this time.

It was only put in as a temporary measure, but had become very popular and survived hail, rain and storms.”

Fr McKinley also asked that people pray for who was responsible.

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