Gardaí are investigating after a JCB digger was used in a break-in at a McDonald's in Limerick.
The break-in happened at approximately 2.50am on Tuesday and a digger from the site was used to gain access to the premises.
The incident took place at McDonald's at the Castletroy Shopping Centre on the Dublin Road.
A photograph captured on Tuesday morning from a passer-by shows significant damage to the front of the premises.
It is understood the raiders failed to access the safe before gardaí arrived.
A number of gang members fled the scene when they realised gardaí were en route.
The heavy front-loader was abandoned and left at the scene, partly wedged into the front door of the restaurant.
It is understood a substantial amount of damage was caused to the McDonald's outlet.
The restaurant has been sealed off by gardaí pending a full technical examination.
It is expected to remain closed for some time pending repairs.
Gardaí are currently examining CCTV security camera footage from the McDonald's outlet and nearby premises in the shopping centre in a bid to identify the raiders.
Located just off the Dublin road, the outlet is one of the most successful McDonald outlets in Munster and enjoys a major passing trade thanks to the nearby shopping centre and University of Limerick.