Attack on charity banner condemned

The damaged sign on the hoardings adjacent to the roundabout on the Cookstown/Dungannon Road. INMM3113-198ar.
The damaged sign on the hoardings adjacent to the roundabout on the Cookstown/Dungannon Road. INMM3113-198ar.

A SAMARITANS volunteer has spoken of his disgust after a banner erected by the charity of the outskirts of Cookstown was defaced.

The banner, erected at the Dungannon Road roundabout on Monday evening was attacked and destroyed within a matter of hours leaving local volunteers furious.

The volunteer with the charity said: “Myself and another volunteer put three posters up in the town on Monday night between seven and eight thirty.

“The next morning I got a phone call from Cookstown District Council to tell me that the sign had been defaced.”

The Samaritans volunteers had erected three banners in the town, one at the Dungannon Road roundabout, one on the Moneymore Road as you enter Cookstown and another at Drum Manor Forest Park in an effort to get those feeling troubled to contact the charity.

The Samaritan went on: “I examined the poster and you can see that someone took a knife or a sharp blade to the poster and defaced it.

“I’m furious that the banner could have been attacked on a Monday night, shortly after it was put up.

“The banner was paid for by public donations and to think that this could happen in incomprehensible. It was a good quality banner and it certainly wasn’t easy to rip.

“It’s difficult to understand what a person who targets a charity that does so much good work in heling to save lives could be thinking. It was put up to help the community. This attack is difficult to comprehend.”

The Samaritans have vowed to replace the banner. “There will be one erected tonight and we will be monitoring it.”

The charity are hosting an information evening for anyone in Cookstown wishing to find out more about what they do or to get involved with the charity on Monday 12th August at 8pm in the Greenvale Hotel.