Search and rescue equipment stolen in Mountmellick raid

GARDAÍ are investigating a sinister Mountmellick break-in where a premises was ransacked and specialised equipment used in search and rescue operations was stolen.

GARDAÍ are investigating a sinister Mountmellick break-in where a premises was ransacked and specialised equipment used in search and rescue operations was stolen.

In the early hours of Monday, July 23 (sometime between the hours of 12.30 and 1.30am) the Civil Defence premises at the Bay Road Business Park was targetted by thieves.

Civil Defence Officer for Laois, Liam Preston said he was ‘very annoyed’ by the incident.

“It is downright disgusting and the people that carried out this are totally mindless,” Mr Preston told the ‘Leinster Express’ as he explained that the equipment stolen is used by the Civil Defence in painstaking search and rescue operations, particularly in the Slieve Bloom mountains.

The Civil Defence is government funded and while Laois Civil Defence is sixty years in existence, and currently has in excess of twenty members, it has had a base at Mountmellick’s Bay Road since November 2010.

“Never before has anything like this happened. We’ll be hoping that we can replace the equipment through our insurance and if not it will eat significantly into our budget,” explained Mr Preston.

He said Gardaí, whom the Civil Defence work hand-in-hand with, have trawled CCTV footage and that they are leaving no stone uncovered in their investigation to track down the raiders and recover the stolen equipment.

Meanwhile, also on the same date and at the Bay Road Business Park, damage was caused to the door of The Homebrew Company premises as raiders tried to gain entry.

Mountmellick Gardaí are appealing to anyone who may have seen anything suspicious in or around the Bay Road area in the early hours of July 23 to contact them on 057 86 24140.