By Jimmy Woulfe, Mid-West Correspondent
AN antique eight foot long pew has ‘walked’ from a Limerick church.
Thieves removed the pew in broad daylight from Granagh church.
Shocked parishioners discovered the theft when they turned up for morning Mass.
A garda spokesman said: "It may have been stolen to order as there are a lot of people furnishing old homes and an antique like this wold be in demand."
Pews have been in demand for use as seating in pubs and restaurants.
The stolen pew is more than 80 years old and the church was built in 1831.
The other pews in the church are longer and of more recent vintage.
The theft took place some time between 10am and 4pm on January 31.
Although the church is located next to the local primary school, nobody saw any unusual activity at the time of the robbery.
Parish clerk, John Sheehan said: "When I found out that the pew was missing, I couldn’t believe it. That bench has been at the back of the church for as long as I can remember. It was heavy and would have taken a number of people to lift it."
Gardaí said that passersby may have seen the pew being taken away, and may have assumed it was being removed for repairs.
Nothing else was taken from the church and this reinforces the garda theory the pew was taken to order for a client.
Gardaí at Croom are investigating the theft and can be contacted on 061-397240.