Gardaí in Tralee are investigating an act of criminal damage to the town’s Christmas crib.
The strong clear perspex covering which protects the nativity scene was broken and pulled aside and the figure of St Joseph smashed, with his head removed.
The scene had been sealed off Monday morning - thanks to a repair job to the perspex cover. Otherwise it was business as usual in the town square.
The crib was erected there over a week ago and is part of a Christmas festival which was officially opened by mayor of Tralee Cllr Terry O'Brien, and local man and Kerry footballer Kieran Donaghy.
Cllr O’Brien said he was very disappointed at what he hoped was a once-off by “a nit wit” with too much Christmas cheer. However it would take more than one to remove the Perspex, he felt.
“This is a very old nativity set and the figures will be hard to replace, I have been told,” Mr O’Brien said.
The vandalism occurred in the early hours of Sunday, gardaí confirmed.
An investigation of criminal damage is being conducted which will include examination of items at the scene and CCTV footage.
Gardaí are appealing for information at (066) 7102300.