GARDAÍ are investigating a series of bizarre attacks in which vandals dug up sections of Cork city centre pavement and then carefully filled the holes with cut flowers or greenery.
Cork City Council confirmed it had reported the incidents to Gardaí after its staff were astounded to discover on Tuesday that large sections of concrete paving on city centre footpaths had been dug up over the Easter weekend at four different locations.
Several locations involved side avenues off St Patrick Street, Cork's main shopping thoroughfare.
In three locations, the pieces of concrete paving slabs and bricks which had been dug up were left neatly stacked by the roadside.
In each of the four locations, the exposed sections of footpath were then carefully filled with cut flowers or green branches.
"An investigation is underway," a city council official confirmed.
Gardaí said they are hopeful CCTV security camera footage will reveal the identities of those responsible.
The areas involved are all extensively covered by CCTV cameras, many located on shop premises.
A garda source admitted the attacks were quite bizarre.
"No one can understand why anyone would want to dig up sections of footpath," he said.
"This clearly involved a lot of effort over a lengthy period of time, quite possibly by a number of individuals.
"We don't know if it was some kind of protest action or may just have involved a prank."
Gardaí and city council officials are also baffled as to why the culprits would then carefully stack the removed paving slabs and bricks beside the area which had just been dug up.
"April Fools Day was two weeks ago so it can't have involved that."