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Arrests over theft of priceless artefact from Offaly church

Two men are being held on suspicion of theft.

Image: Photocall Ireland

TWO MEN HAVE been arrested in connection with the theft of a priceless artefact from a church in Co Offaly.

The artefact known as the ‘precious shrine of St Manchan’ was stolen from St Manchan’s Church in Boher shortly after 1.30pm today.

The item is approximately 2.5 feet in length and about 2 feet in height. It is made from yew wood and gilt bronze and a garda spokesperson said it is of priceless historical value.

A witness reported seeing two men in a green car leaving the area of the church and travelling in the direction of Shannonbridge.

Gardaí subsequently stopped a car on the N5 and the two male occupants, both aged in their 30s, were arrested on suspicion of theft. They are both being detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984 at Tullamore Garda Station.

The missing artefact has not been recovered.

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Gardaí are appealing to anyone who has any information about the incident or who is from the Boher to Shannonbridge area to contact them at Tullamore Garda Station on 057 9327600.

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