Window frame stolen from ruined Abbey recovered

600-year-old stone carved window frame found on edge of lake in Co Leitrim

A 600-year-old stone carved window frame which was stolen from an abbey on a west of Ireland lake has been recovered.

A 600-year-old stone carved window frame which was stolen from an abbey on a west of Ireland lake has been recovered.

 

A 600-year-old stone carved window frame which was stolen from an abbey on a west of Ireland lake has been recovered.

The window frame was taken from the ruin of Church Island Abbey on Garadice Lake in Co Leitrim.

While it is not clear when the theft took place, it was noticed to be missing only last month.

Gardaí and officials from the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht have been separately investigating its disappearance.

A local farmer living on the shores of Lake Garadice found the frame in shallow water near his home yesterday morning.

He immediately recognised it from photographs which had appeared in the media after it was stolen and contacted the gardai. It is thought that the thieves may have decided to store it carefully in the water until publicity surrounding the theft died down.

Gardaí believe the frame was removed at night in a planned operation involving a number of men and transported back to the mainland on a sizeable boat. The carved frame is estimated to weigh hundreds of kilos and is instantly recognisable to church historians or students of church architecture.

Councillor John McCartin who had initially highlighted the theft said yesterday: “Obviously gardaí will be checking vehicle tracks down to the lake, because nobody carried this down—it was obviously driven down”.