Thieves have stripped lead off the roof of the chapel in St Corban’s Cemetery in Naas last Thursday night.
Council officials are now trying to step up security after the incident and are set to install bollards at the cemetery entrance as they fear the chapel could be targeted again.
According to Naas Garda Station, the theft occurred between 2am and 10am last Thursday, 13 October. The strips of lead were 1ft by 8ft, and eight strips were stolen. The lead was worth approximately E800 in total.
The chapel itself is more than 100 years old and was designed by Michael Scott, one of Ireland’s foremost architects. It is in the care of Naas Town Council. Some 15 years ago it was refurbished, when the roof was reworked.
“While the Council will be required to make good the damage to the roof, we would ask that anyone with information pertaining to same would contact the gardai in Naas,” a spokesperson said.
Naas Parish Priest Fr Tom MacDonnnell, who was made aware of the theft at a funeral on Saturday morning, said the local community was “shocked and disappointed”.
“There is a lot of obvious upset and anger but this is happening all over the country. Churches are being targeted. It’s a phenomenon happening all over the country and the UK. It’s shocking and disappointing,” he added.
Naas Mayor Cllr Darren Scully confirmed that Naas Town Council is putting a bollard in place at the entrance to the cemetery. This bollard will be put in position every day after the caretaker finishes his day’s work. “It means people will not be able to drive into the cemetery after normal working hours,” he noted.