'Extensive damage after' church sacristy set alight

Wed, Jan 23, 2013, 00:00

Gardaí are examining CCTV footage and appealing for information after a group of raiders set fire to the sacristy of a church.

The incident occurred at St Maur’s Church (above) in Rush*, Co Dublin, early on Monday morning. The church was also broken into the night before when “extensive damage” was done.

Parish priest Fr Kieran Coughlan said the vandalism was “mindless”.

“The sacristy is completely destroyed. All the vestments we had and much of the contents are gone. There is a safe in there also but thankfully that was intact.

“The biggest upset for people is that the tabernacle was stolen from the church.” It was later recovered by gardaí elsewhere in the town.

“We don’t have an estimate for the cost of the damage yet but it won’t be an insignificant sum,” he added. “We hope the insurance will cover it.”

The power and gas remained cut off due to safety concerns, but Fr Coughlan said he hoped to reopen in time for weekend Mass. “We will be looking at aspects of our security in light of these incidents to see what we can do to improve it.”

A Garda spokesman said there had been no arrests.

*This article was edited on Wednesday, January 23rd at 3.35pm.