Gardaí are investigating an arson attack and break-in at a 140-year-old boat club, which is located at the historic spot where Nordic Vikings and their warships landed off the River Shannon to invade Limerick City.
The culprits behind the “disgraceful” attack last night on the Curragower Boat Club, built in 1877, smashed the club’s windows and lit a number of fires inside the historic landmark.
Members of the club said they arrived to discover “sheer horror”.
“They smashed their way in through one of the main windows in the club,” said senior member Conor Sheehan.
“They did their best to set the place on fire and they smashed everything in the club as best they could.
“This is where the Vikings landed, here, right at this spot. Then, the ancient Port of Limerick is right outside where our boat slip is. The place is absolutely full of history and we’re very determined to protect what we can of it.”
Club members spent the morning surveying the damage, estimated to cost thousands of euro to repair.
“We had arranged to meet here this morningand to our horror this is what we found,” Mr Sheehan said.
“It was an awful shock. We’ve only recently refurbished the place and repainted the place, so you can imagine how we are feeling.”
The culprits used a large life ring to smash their way in through the clubhouse’s windows. They also smashed glass in a stove and set several fires inside the building.
They also threw the Irish national flag, the club’s flag, and the Munster rugby flag on the ground and attempted to burn them.
It is believed one of the culprits may have fallen into the River Shannon at one point and may have tried to dry himself in the club. A drenched jacket was left at the scene.
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