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'A wanton act of vandalism': Gardaí investigate fire at popular tree sculpture in Dublin

Dublin City Council has said that an accelerant was used in the fire, with the damage clearly visible today.

The tree is located at the north-east corner of St. Anne's Park.
The tree is located at the north-east corner of St. Anne's Park.
Image: Twitter/DubFireBrigade

THE LORD MAYOR of Dublin has condemned an arson attack on a popular tree sculpture in north Dublin as “a wanton act of vandalism”.

Gardaí are investigating the fire which happened overnight at the so-called ‘Peace Tree’ or ‘Tree of Life’ in Raheny.

The tree is located at the north-east corner of St Anne’s Park where Clontarf Road and Watermill Road meet beside Bull Island. 

Dublin City Council has said that an accelerant was used in the fire, with the damage clearly visible today. 

“This is a beautiful sculpture enjoyed by adults and children alike, and I want to condemn this wanton act of vandalism in the strongest possible terms,” said the Lord Mayor Tom Brabazon said this afternoon. 

The Lord Mayor, who is from the area says efforts must be made to catch those responsible: 

It’s so sad to see something like this happen. I would appeal to anyone with any information to contact the gardai.

Tweet by @Dublin City Council Source: Dublin City Council/Twitter

This morning Dublin Fire Brigade said the tree was “set alight”, causing damage to the artwork. 

The original tree had already been a much-loved Monterey cypress tree but when it showed signs of decay some five years ago Dublin City Council decided it should but cut down and a sculpture made in its place. 

The 10-metre tall work of art was created over by award-winning UK-based artist Tommy Craggs in nine weeks of work over three years. 

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From an octopus spread across the base of the tree to a proud swan perched at the top, every inch was transformed into a type of fauna.

The details were inspired by the wildlife of the park itself and nearby Bull Island.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Liveline this afternoon, Craggs says he is confident the design could be sanded and repaired. 

“I thought it was gonna be like broken or something but it’s a fire damage and can be repaired,” he told Joe Duffy. 

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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