€5,000 copper roof stolen from sacristy


AN INVESTIGATION has been launched after thieves stripped thousands of euro worth of copper from a church roof in Connemara.

Gardaí have appealed for assistance following the overnight raid on Réalt na Mara church in Lettermullen, Co Galway.

Raiders made their getaway with the copper sacristy roof in the early hours of Thursday morning. An estimated €5,000 worth of copper was removed.

Gardaí are appealing for witnesses to come forward.

The Réalt na Mara church, which was refurbished in 1995, is one of four churches in the parish of An Cheathrú Rua and does not have a full-time parish priest.

Fr Éamonn Ó Conghaile, who is parish priest in An Cheathrú Rua and regularly says Mass in the church, said the parish is stunned by what happened.

“This is an insult to the church and to the parish,” he said. “It is very upsetting and hurtful to a lot of people who put so much effort into making a nice church. Money was gathered from emigrants from America, England and all over the world to put on that roof.

“To see such a lack of respect that someone would take the roof off the house of God is really hard to take,” he said.

Galway gardaí have appealed for the public’s assistance in tracking down the raiders. “A job like this must have taken a few hours to complete – there must be someone out there that can shed some light on the raid,” said a Garda spokesperson.

“Hopefully in the Lettermullen area somebody spotted something or someone strange in the area on Wednesday night last. If they did we appeal to them to come forward.” Anyone with information should contact Salthill Garda station on 091-514720.