Ireland: Bishop appeals for return of stolen statue head

Statue before it was vandalised

Statue before it was vandalised

Source: Irish Catholic Bishops Conference

Archbishop Kieran O'Reilly SMA, Archbishop of Cashel & Emly has made an appeal for the return of the head of a statue which was decapitated and stolen in June this year.

The Gardai investigating the criminal damage to the 14 foot high statue in the grounds of the Cathedral of the Assumption in Thurles have described it as "an act of wanton vandalism."

Speaking at the 10.30 Mass at the Cathedral on Sunday, Archbishop O'Reilly said: "Archbishop Patrick Leahy was Archbishop of Cashel & Emly from 1857-1875. He was the archbishop who undertook the building here of the Cathedral of the Assumption, in Thurles. He participated in the First Vatican Council and was highly regarded in the Ireland of the 19th century. In appreciation of his ministry and work in building the Cathedral, a statue was erected in his honour in the forecourt of the Cathedral in 1911.

"In June this year the statue was damaged and the head removed - no trace of this piece of the statue has been found to date.

"It is now nearly five months since the statue was damaged. The damage to the statue and removal of the head has upset the people of the archdiocese and, in particular, the people of the town of Thurles.

"I appeal today to any person who may be able to provide information about the incident or the whereabouts of the damaged piece of the statue to come forward.

"All information to be given to An Garda Síochána who are investigating the case at Thurles Garda station."

A committee of the parish is offering a reward for information leading to the recovery of the head of the statue of Archbishop Patrick Leahy.

Tags: Archbishop Kieran O'Reilly, Thurles, Cashel & Emly, Archbishop Patrick Leahy, Decapitated Statue

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