Statue of archbishop decapitated at Thurles Cathedral

The statue of a former archbishop has been beheaded in Co Tipperary.

Gardaí are investigating after the marble statue of Archbishop Patrick Leahy was decapitated some time between Wednesday and yesterday.

The head of the statue has been stolen in what gardaí have described as "a wanton act of violence".

They have appealed for witnesses to come forward and no arrests have been made.

Archbishop of Cashel & Emly, Kieran O’Reilly expressed his "deep regret" at the incident.

He said: "Archbishop Patrick Leahy was archbishop of the diocese from 1857 – 1875...and oversaw the construction of the Cathedral of the Assumption in Thurles.

“Archbishop Leahy was an able scholar and accomplished orator, whose address at the First Vatican Council was widely acclaimed at that time.

"The statue was unveiled in his honour in 1911 as a tribute to his work on the cathedral and for the Church in Ireland, as well as his popularity as a pastor.

"I have been moved by the reaction of the people of the town of Thurles, and throughout the diocese, arising from this act of vandalism. It is my hope that the statue can be restored as soon as possible.”

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