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06 Dec 2021

Vandalised fairy trail rescued by generous gift from Laois crafter

Vandalised fairy trail rescued by generous gift from Laois crafter

A beloved woodland fairy trail has been largely destroyed by vandals in Laois, but a local craftmaker has come to the rescue.

The woodland fairy trail at Derryounce lakes in Portarlington, had little ceramic houses and figurines.

It was only installed last April to the delight of local children, at a cost of €5,000 by the local volunteer group who maintain the public woodlands and lakes amenity. 

Vandals smashed much of the installations last week. 

However a local woman who makes miniature wooden houses is offering to give her Christmas crafts in replacement.

Off The Sideline Crafts is the business of Niamh O'Neill from Portarlington. She describes herself as a busy GAA Mammy, hurling team secretary, Covid team supervisor and part time worker who spends what little ‘spare’ time she has crafting wooden toys, decorations and signs.

"Since word got to me about the mindless vandalism to the fairy houses in Derryounce (Derryounce Experience) I decided to put aside creating Christmas stock and make a few wooden ‘kind of’ replacements for the broken ones.

"Always remember be proud and love your community. Don’t let the small amount of badness drag the place down. Rise above it all and do what you can.

"The reason I started making toys was to see my daughter smile at the pieces I made her and now continue to do so for more happy children. Hopefully these might bring back a smile for children seeing the fairies have a few new houses to continue living out in Derryounce. Almost ready to handover to committee members out there," she said.

See our story about the vandalism below photos.

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