A file picture of the crib in Newcastle West
A LIMERICK community has been left devastated after thieves “plundered” a much-loved Christmas crib, stealing a “significant” sum of money from its collection box this week.
Gardai at Newcastle West have launched an investigation into the incident, which occurred at Churchtown, Newcastle West.
This is the second time in a matter of days that a Christmas crib has been targeted in Limerick.
Gardai at Roxboro Road are probing the ransacking of St Joseph’s Church last week, in which the crib was damaged and flowers were stolen.
The crib figures at Churchtown, which are said to be around 120 years old, were damaged during the incident on late Wednesday night or in the early hours of Thursday morning.
The crib in Newcastle West is open view to the public, but unclosed in a recessed area. It is understood that the culprits damaged the gates in order to access the crib.
To mark an annual tradition for the past 35 years, more than 250 people visited the crib which was blessed Canon Frank Duhig on Christmas Eve.
Newcastle West local Seamus Hennessy said that the collection box was “plundered” and that it was “disappointing that in the season of goodwill, such a lack of Christmas spirit would be shown to a place that is so central to the life of people at this time”.
Superintendent Eamon O’Neill is leading the investigation.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Newcastle West garda station at 061 313 636.