Burglars target Waterford cathedral

 

Gardaí in Waterford are investigating after a significant amount of damage was caused to Christ Church Cathedral during a burglary.

A Garda spokesman said the incident, which is being treated as criminal damage, was reported at about 9.15am.

A small sum of cash was taken but damage estimated to cost thousands of euro was caused in the process. The cathedral's ceiling, which was restored a number of years ago, is believed to have been affected.

Gardaí said the investigation is ongoing and are appealing for witnesses to come forward.

Dean of the cathedral Trevor Lester said  that someone had gained access into the cathedral last night.

"They seem to have gained access by coming up through the steeple and across the roof and unfortunately through an 18th century roof and they seem to have smashed their way though to the the organ," he said.

He said the raiders ransacked the vestry and took money from the safe.

They “tossed everything” and smashed doors and windows throughout the church and tried to break votive stands open.

Speaking on RTÉ's News at One, the dean said he had “no idea at the moment" how much repairs would cost until the insurance company and architects examined them.

He said the ceiling was the original one by 18th century architect John Roberts. “It’s plastered with horsehair and there are not many people in Ireland doing that kind of work these days,” he said.

He said the cathedral would be open for business tomorrow when the Garda technical team was finished