independent

Thursday 17 April 2014

Artefact thieves rip out medieval church window

NOW you see it, now you don't.

The theft of a medieval limestone window from a ruined church hidden on an island in the middle of a lake shows just how far Ireland's artefact thieves are willing to go.

The 15th Century window, the value of which is unknown, was crudely ripped out of the east gable wall of the church on Church Island, which lies in the middle of Lake Garadice in Co Leitrim.

Stabilisation works had been carried out on the church in recent years to prevent it falling into further disrepair.

The window was discovered to be missing earlier this week.

However, it is not known when the artefact was stolen as the island is rarely visited and is owned by Coillte.

The theft was reported to the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht on Monday along with part of a gun loop, which was stolen from the tower of a bawn on neighbouring Crane Island.

Arts Minister Jimmy Deenihan condemned the removal of the artefacts.

Anyone with information on the missing artefacts is asked to contact gardai in Carrick-on-Shannon on 071 9620021 or the department's National Monuments Service at nationalmonuments@ahg.gov.ie or 01 8882169.

Irish Independent

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