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27/09/2021

Anger at vandals destroying water safety equipment

Playing Russian Roulette with the lives of others

Anger at vandals destroying water safety equipment

Attempts to retrieve the safety equipment are ongoing

An area that could ultimately be part of the Lifford-Strabane Riverine project has been targeted by vandals.

Life saving equipment at Strabane Canal was destroyed last weekend.

It is understood that the canal area which links into the wider Strabane - Lifford Greenway route along the A5, Derry Road, Canal Basin, River Mourne Flood Wall to the Strabane Retail Park will eventually link with the new Lifford Greenway and ultimately the €8.96 million Riverine project.

The project will create acres of new cross-border community park space and infrastructure, designed to help bring people together.

However it appears not everyone is supporting the idea.

The Chair of Derry and Strabane Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) has expressed dismay at the vandalism of life-saving equipment at the Strabane Canal over the weekend.

Speaking on the incidents, PCSP Chairperson, Alderman Maurice Devenney stated: "I am shocked and dismayed that important life-saving equipment has been vandalised over the weekend.

"The water safety equipment located along the Strabane Canal is there for the safety of all users and this senseless destruction defies all comprehension.

"The PCSP has worked with a number of groups over the past years to enhance the safety of all our waterways and I cannot understand the point of tampering and vandalising this equipment.

"We will be working with our partners to ensure that the equipment is replaced or repaired as soon as possible, and I would encourage anyone with any information on those responsible for this mindless destruction to inform the police as soon as possible."

Ivan Barr, District Commander, Community Rescue Service, added: "Despite the best efforts of PCSP, CRS and the community as a whole to ensure the health and well-being of those utilising our waterways, there are still some people who think it is okay to play Russian Roulette with the lives of others through the vandalism of this vital life- saving equipment.

"This foolhardiness is going to cost someone their life. We are constantly appealing to those responsible to wise up. It will be too late when they ruin their own life by causing the death of another by their unwelcome and irresponsible actions," he said.

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