Thieves who broke into the Sligo Leitrim Mountain Rescue team base over the weekend, stealing valuable equipment including new top-of-the-range torches, have put lives at risk, say the volunteers.
The group, one of 11 voluntary mountain rescue teams, said it was “shocked and saddened” to discover the break-in on what could potentially have been of its busiest weekends, with many climbers out on Benbulben and other mountains over Easter.
“The individuals who did this have put our lives, and the lives of potential casualties at significant risk,” said spokesman Alan Sayers.
He said thieves broke in a door at the base, near the fire station in Sligo town, some time on Friday night. A number of jackets and backpacks were stolen but the most “devastating loss” were torches which were purchased recently, according to Sligo Leitrim Mountain Rescue.
Mr Sayers said the robbery was especially sickening as the operation is financed through fundraising. Gardaí in Sligo are investigating and Mr Sayers said the rescue team would be closely monitoring the second-hand market, including some websites popular with the mountaineering community, in a bid to track down the lost equipment, which is valued at €3,500.
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