Vandals trash Derry conservation office

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The Project Officer of a Derry charity which was broken into at the weekend last night slammed the vandals who trashed the office.

Ivan Black, project development officer with Conservation Volunteers based in Hawkin Street said he was appalled to discover the damage which was caused on Saturday night.

“They trashed the place,” said Ivan.

“There was no thought for the work that goes on here, they just went through everything.”

Staff were appalled to discover the damage at the weekend.

Papers from filing cabinets were strewn all over the offices.

“It was a horrendous mess,” he said.

“It is just soul destroying for all the volunteers who come in here who are trying to make a difference in the community and better themselves.

“First and foremost we are a charity. People think that we just go and plant trees but there’s another side to the work we do here.

“We are a real cross community group and there are people who come together and mix here. Some of the volunteers who work with us have had a hard time in their lives.

“But while they are here their aim is put something back into the community.

“This week we had a foreign student working with us and she was shocked when she saw the damage that was done to our office.

“Unfortunately that is the image of the city that she is now taking home. The people who carried this out have no respect for the people who work here and the damage they have done.

“It took us a full day to put the office back together. Thankfully those who broke into the office got away with nothing as we don’t keep any cash on the site.

“However they opened drawers, busted cabinets and messed all the files up. The volunteer room was trashed, as was the general office and my office.”

Police are investigating the incident.

Mr Black appealed for anyone with any information to contact police. It is understood that a number of breakins have taken place in Hawkin Street in the past week.