HOLE IN THE WALL GANG.
THIEVES stole part of a 200-year-old wall in a busy city centre street early yesterday morning.
A huge segment of a rare granite wall on the riverbank of the River Liffey at Victoria Quay in Dublin was taken in the daylight raid.
Gardai are hunting for a lorry that was used by what has been dubbed "the hole in the wall gang".
A Garda source said: "Why they wanted this wall is a mystery. Granite is quite rare but what they will do with it we just don't know yet.
"It can't be that easy to hide 26 slabs of granite."
More than 24 square metres of the antique granite slabs were taken from the site which was being repaired by building firm Wallace Construction.
It is thought the thieves made off with the stones early yesterday morning after packing them on to a lorry with heavy lifting equipment.
Tim Brick, Dublin Corporation's aptly named Deputy City Engineer, said he could not understand why anyone would steal the wall.
He said: "It is inconceivable that anybody would have so little regard for the city's heritage.
"I don't know what they want if for or what they would do with it."
The Liffey wall ranges in age from 150 to 200 years old. Mr Brick described the stolen granite as "priceless" and difficult to replace or replicate.
Mr Brick added that fortunately a section of wall at Blackhall Place - where a bridge is being built - will help to replace the lost stone.
The Gardai has asked for anyone with information to contact them at Kevin Street.