Crosshaven house ransacked: ‘They’d no respect for anything inside’

Crosshaven house ransacked: ‘They’d no respect for anything inside’
JC120319Pierce O'Keeffe whose home in Graball Bay, Crosshaven was severely vandalised. Photo Joleen Cronin

A CORK community has been left outraged after the picturesque beachfront cottage of a popular local man was completely ransacked by vandals.

One of the oldest cottages in the Crosshaven area, owned by civic-minded local, Pierce O’Keeffe, was ransacked by a gang, believed to be drunken youths.

Up to €20,000 worth of damage was done to the old cottage, which overlooks the stunning Graball Beach in Crosshaven.

Rocks were thrown through the windows and there was widespread damage to the kitchen, dining room and bedroom.

Mr O’Keeffe returned to assess the destruction to his beloved cottage yesterday and to board up windows following the shocking weekend incident.

A father to four sons, Pierce is a well-known member of the Crosshaven community and led a project to rebuild the steps and pathway down to Graball Beach.

Pierce O'Keeffe's vandalised property on Graball Bay, Crosshaven. Photo Joleen Cronin
Pierce O'Keeffe's vandalised property on Graball Bay, Crosshaven. Photo Joleen Cronin

Family friend and neighbour, Chris Maverley, said: “I was with Pierce when he got a call from another neighbour saying there was glass broken in his cottage. He went down to check it out and came back very distressed.”

Mr Maverley added: “There was a lot of damage on the inside.

“The bedroom, kitchen, and dining room were all damaged and personal items too, as well as the furniture.

“If you look at where the rocks were thrown in and the state of the glass, they had easy access to everything then and in the grand scheme of things, they had no respect for anything inside.”

It’s understood the incident happened late Friday night or early Saturday morning following a party nearby.

Mr Maverley said: “On Friday night, there was a party or a bonfire and we reckon it got a small bit out of hand and they came down the beach area and threw boulders into the house.

“We assume that’s what happened.”

It’s estimated that between €15,000 and €20,000 worth of damage was done to the cottage.

Pierce O'Keeffe whose home in Graball Bay was severely vandalised, pictured with neighbour and Crosshaven Development Committee member Chris Maverly.Photo Joleen Cronin
Pierce O'Keeffe whose home in Graball Bay was severely vandalised, pictured with neighbour and Crosshaven Development Committee member Chris Maverly.Photo Joleen Cronin

Pierce lived in the cottage until two years ago, whereas now it’s a holiday home for when he goes to visit his mother and sisters, who still live in Crosshaven.

He is a highly-regarded member of the Crosshaven community and locals credit him with helping to open up the beach to the public.

“Up to six or seven years ago, we had no access to the beach because of an erosion of the steps.

“Pierce is one of the guys who spearheaded it, he got the community involved and reinstated the steps and put in a footpath, so families can now get down there with ease,” said Mr Maverley.

“So for this to happen to him, it’s like a slap in the face, he’s a very good neighbour and very good in the community,” he said.

Mr Maverley feels it’s hard to prevent these acts of vandalism but says the community is doing all that it can.

“I’m on the Crosshaven Development Committee and we have gotten involved with schools and have gotten parents involved.

“If we find out kids are misbehaving, we inform the teachers.

“Other than that, when kids don’t want to be found and when kids want to do things, they’ll do it.”

The Crosshaven community has been outraged by the destruction of the cottage, which regularly features on postcards of the area.

While they have been coming out in their numbers to offer support to Mr O’Keeffe, right now he just wants to process what has happened.

“Pierce is the sort of individual now who will say ‘right, you know what I’m gonna do, I’m gonna get my head around it and then start looking for people to weigh in’.”

An investigation into the incident is under way with gardaí asking for anyone with information to come forward.


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