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'Mindless, wanton thuggery': Limerick's iconic Treaty Stone vandalised overnight

Gardaí are examining CCTV footage to try to find those responsible for defacing the 325-year-old monument.

treaty1 Source: Live 95FM News

GARDAÍ ARE TO examine security camera footage from locations around Limerick city as they investigate an act of vandalism at the site of the 325-year-old Limerick Treaty Stone, which was defaced with blue paint overnight.

The Treaty of Limerick was signed on a block of limestone on 3 October, 1691. It ended the Williamite War in Ireland between the Jacobites and the supporters of William of Orange, and concluded the Siege of Limerick.

The stone has rested on a pedestal since 1865, at the Clare end of Thomond Bridge after it was erected at the site, under the direction of then Mayor of Limerick John Rickard Tinslay.

Maintenance worker, Dermot McNamara, from Stenson Park, who arrived for work at 8am today at St Munchin’s Church, which is located adjacent to the Treaty Stone, alerted the authorities about the paint attack.

“I went over and checked it and then I rang the city council. It’s awful to see it like that,” he said.

treaty2 Source: Live 95FM News

Volunteers with Limerick Civic Trust, along with crews from Limerick city and county council, arrived on the scene shortly after 9am to begin cleaning the monument.

“Luckily they used a water-based paint. If they used gloss paint it would have been very hard to clean it,” McNamara added.

‘Mindless, wanton thuggery’

The Mayor of Limerick, Fianna Fáil councillor Kieran O’Hanlon, condemned the paint attack, saying: “This is mindless, wanton thuggery. Who would want to deface any property? Let alone one of the iconic symbols of Limerick. Whoever did this should be ashamed of themselves.

Their actions impact on everyone, on Limerick, and I would encourage anyone who saw anything or knows who did it to contact the gardaí. These types of actions have got to be stamped out.

A council spokesman said: “A water-based paint, possibly art paint from a tube, was daubed all over the monument.

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“From initial investigation, there is no lasting damage. Street cleansing crews are power hosing down the monument.

“It appears the damp weather last night meant the paint didn’t adhere to the Stone. A specialist will examine the stone as a precaution,” he added.

Local Sinn Fein TD Maurice Quinlivan described the incident as “shameful” in a personal tweet this morning.

“Shameful damage to our historic memorial. Someone knows who did this-lets hope they are brought to account,” he stated.

Gardaí at Henry Street are investigating the incident and can be contacted on 061 212 400.

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David Raleigh

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