Fine Gael Senator Colm Burke “didn’t sleep” on Sunday night, after his constituency office in Blackpool was vandalised.
Fine Gael’s general election candidate for Cork North Central said that it was the first time in his 25 years in politics that something like this happened, and he’s “just wondering what’s coming next.” The incident, which occurred on Sunday evening, saw bricks and stones thrown through the window of his office.
“The brick was put through with force. They broke two windows, so there was more than one brick came in. There were stones used as well. The brick bounced off an internal wall, and knocked a piece out of that as well. It still had enough power to knock plaster off an internal wall,” Senator Burke told The Echo.
“They took a red brick off of a wall across the way by the church. There’s a street wall there, so they pulled the brick off and fired it through,” he added.
It’s understood there is some CCTV coverage in the area and Gardaí are investigating.
Senator Burke said that they have “no notion” who is responsible for the vandalism, but was satisfied that none of his campaign team were at the premises at the time as they had finished canvassing at around 6pm.
“We have been here since August and we’ve had no problem at all. I never had a problem above in Shandon street either before this.
“It’s the first time I’ve had a serious incident of any disruption. These things happen. You drive on and that’s it,” Senator Burke said.
“You just get up, shake off the dust, and you start all over again.”
The act of vandalism follows an ongoing issue that Mr Burke has reported to Gardaí of his posters being taken down and put up in areas where it is made seem they are put up negligently.
“We have had 250 posters stolen,” Mr Burke said, “We suspected it was happening and the other day we had someone give us a call after they saw people actively taking down the posters.” Mr Burke said what was worse is the individuals were then putting up the posters in areas where they should not be.
“The removal of the posters is theft, those posters belong to me.” Mr Burke said.
Mr Burke described the ongoing issues as a “tough week" and said he was liaising with Gardaí in relation to both incidents.
Other candidates across Cork North Central have condemned the incidents. Cllr Ken O’Flynn said: “My thoughts are with him and his staff at this time. No politician should be subjected to this type of terror as they go about the role that they were elected to do.”