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Dublin: 14 °C Monday 23 September, 2019
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Statue of archbishop decapitated outside Thurles cathedral

Superintendent Pat Murphy of Thurles Garda Station said the statue is “a piece of the fabric of Thurles”.

The Cathedral of the Assumption in Thurles (taken before the damage to the statue)
The Cathedral of the Assumption in Thurles (taken before the damage to the statue)
Image: Google Streetview

GARDAÍ ARE INVESTIGATING damage to a marble statue of an archbishop in Thurles, Co Tipperary.

The head of the statue of Archbisop Patrick Leahy was removed and stolen last night. 

The statue is located outside the Cathedral of the Assumption, where the archbishop was buried in 1875.

Gardaí it was damaged some time between Wednesday and Thursday this week. 

Speaking to Tipp FM, Superintendent Pat Murphy of Thurles Garda Station said the statue is “a piece of the fabric of Thurles”. 

“So we’re appealing to the public if anybody knows anything, saw anything or heard anything in relation to who committed the damage or who can help us in any way, we’d be delighted to hear from them.”

Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly, Archbishop of Cashel and Emly expressed his “deep regret” at the vandalism of the statue.

“Archbishop Leahy was an able scholar and accomplished orator, whose address at the First Vatican Council was widely acclaimed at that time,” he said.

“The statue was unveiled in his honour in 1911 as a tribute to his work on the cathedral and for the Church in Ireland, as well as his popularity as a pastor.

“I have been moved by the reaction of the people of the town of Thurles, and throughout the diocese, arising from this act of vandalism. It is my hope that the statue can be restored as soon as possible.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact gardaí in Thurles on 0504 25100 or the Garda Confidential Line at 1800 666 111. 

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