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Theft of property Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht

Gardai in Shannon assisted by members from the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation and gardai from Naas have made an arrest.

It is in relation to the theft of paintings and other items, the property of the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht that was taken from a Storage facility in Limerick.

The man (early 40's) was arrested early this morning in the Shannon area and was taken to Shannon Garda Station where he is currently detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984.

No further information will be made available at this time as further planned searches are being carried out in the Limerick area following this arrest. 

Note: For background information, see below previous comment made by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht in relation to this matter.

An investigation is underway by An Garda Siochána in relation to the loss of a number of items held in private storage on behalf of the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. As this is an active investigation, the Department cannot comment on any aspect of the investigation, and operational queries should be directed to An Garda Siochána.

Since learning of this matter, the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht's priority has been to say or do nothing that might frustrate the Garda investigation now underway. He has instructed his Department to take the following core actions:

1.           To provide every possible assistance to An Garda Siochána. This is ongoing.

2.           To remove all other Department items in storage at the private facility and to transfer them to alternative storage used by the National Monuments Service of the Department and the National Museum of Ireland.

3.           To undertake an inventory of all artwork, furniture and other items in storage by the Department.

4.           To carry out a physical check on all of these items.

5.           To undertake an in-depth investigation and report - including a review of procedures and protocols in place for the storage of artefacts - for completion and presentation to the Minister.

The Department is continuing to provide any assistance requested of it by An Garda Siochána.  All of the other urgent actions instructed by the Minister were completed during 2012.