Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Councillor condemns vandals for Invergowrie war memorial damage

An article from the Courier which caught our attention, highlighting something which is happening too often these days.

Carse councillor Peter Mulheron has condemned young vandals in Invergowrie after a war memorial to the village's fallen heroes was desecrated.

Stone blocks bearing the names of the war dead have been damaged, with two blocks pulled out entirely and left lying on the ground at the gates of Invergowrie Memorial Park.

Vandals have also tried to remove another block higher up and it has been left hanging from the wall in a dangerous condition.

The memorial in the park has long been targeted by vandals and was replaced by a more secure memorial at Invergowrie Parish Church in 2000.

However, the wall with the names of the armed forces personnel is still a sacred monument to the families involved, Mr Mulheron said.

He added that the latest vandalism comes just a few months after a bench in the park — which was installed as a memorial to Alastair Soutar, a Customs and Excise officer who died while trying to foil a multi-million-pound drug-smuggling operation — was daubed with paint and a plaque dedicated to the 47-year-old was stolen.

Mr Soutar was killed after being crushed between two boats during an operation off the Caithness coast in 1996.

''I don't know if it's drugs or what that's causing this but it's just terrible,'' Mr Mulheron said. ''These kids have no idea what upset they cause. The memorial gates were built for the people of Invergowrie who died in the wars.

''I've got to look at the previous incident with Mr Soutar's bench. It's just becoming par for the course here. People say the kids have nothing to do but when I was young we played football with a tennis ball or something. We didn't go around vandalising things. Kids these days have everything, but it's never enough.

''The names of all these people who gave their lives for Invergowrie, Scotland and Britain, whatever, have been damaged.

''These kids just don't understand the significance of it all — if it wasn't for these people giving their lives, they might not be around today. I'm very angry about this and I'll be taking the matter up with the police to see what can be done.''

A spokesman for Perth and Kinross Council said: ''We were concerned to hear about this incident of vandalism. We will investigate what damage has been caused and decide on a course of action. We would urge anyone who saw anything suspicious in the park to contact Tayside Police.''

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