Gardaí in Omeath are investigating following the theft of a donation box at the Santa’s Grotto in Omeath. The donation box was one of two in the village installed by the Omeath Action Group Festival of Lights committee and the fact it has been stolen has left members of the committee as well as local residents shocked and appalled. The festive lights and Santa’s Grotto has been a very welcome addition to the festive period in Omeath and has been a huge success since its launch seven years ago.
A member of the committee told the Dundalk Leader that this was the first time in seven years that anything like this has happened and he appealed to people in the area to call Gardaí if they seen anything suspicious on the evening of Tuesday 28th December.
“We noticed the donation box had been taken from the wooden post outside Santa’s Grotto on Wednesday morning so the theft either took place late on Tuesday evening or in the early hours of Wednesday morning,” explained the Omeath Action Group/Festival of Lights committee member.
“It is very disappointing that somebody or some people would stoop so low as to steal a box which contained donations to help fund the work we do each year to light Omeath during the Festive period. There was probably about €200 or €300 in the box and we have reported the theft to local gardaí who are currently looking through CCTV footage. We have been informed that there were a group of three teenagers spotted in the park late on Tuesday evening and the gardaí have been notified of that fact. We would appeal to anybody who was around Omeath on Tuesday evening to please get in touch with Garda I f they can remember anything suspicious they saw on the evening of the 28th of December.
“We are all gutted that anybody would stoop so low as to target a group which is trying to promote Omeath and make the area look lovely during Christmas time. We work hard to put on the festival of lights and the grotto for the community and we ask people to give what they can afford if they enjoy the experience. To have that money taken from us is just a very hard pill to swallow,” stated the committee member.