GARDAÍ have launched an investigation after a statue of the late, great Sir Terry Wogan was defaced by vandals in Limerick.
The bronze sculpture - unveiled at Harvey's Quay in the city 12 months ago - depicts the legendary BBC broadcaster sat on a chair with a microphone in one hand and interview notes in the other.
Created by award-winning sculptor Rory Breslin, the statue previously courted controversy over complaints it bears little or no resemblance to Limerick's best-known son.
Limerick City and County Council was alerted to graffiti daubed on the life-size statue yesterday and Gardaí at Henry Street are investigating.
One message, sprayed in white capital letters over the notebook held in the statue's left hand, reads: "TERRY WAS A BIG STRONG RUGBY MAN NOT LIKE THIS LITTLE CHAP - COUNCIL COCK UP".
This white graffiti appeared to be sprayed over another message in black lettering, reading:"TERRY WAS A BIG STRONG RUGBY MAN NOT LIKE THIS RUNT".
The vandal strikes again 😕
— LimerickWalkingTours (@limerickguide) July 19, 2018
It’s not known when the statue was defaced but it’s believed to have happened in recent days, according to the Limerick Leader.
Mayor of the Metropolitan District, Cllr Daniel Butler, told the paper it's suspected the graffiti was a premeditated act by an individual who has an issue with the council
He added that it was likely carried out at a time when the perpetrator was unlikely to be seen or apprehended.
"The only way to stop this kind of behaviour is to go to the guards who can take the appropriate action," he said.
Comparing the defacement to other recent graffiti attacks in the city, Cllr Butler added: "They have all happened in very public places so somebody must have seen these people."
A spokesperson for Limerick City and a County Council said: "Unfortunately vandalism happens from time to time on various statues/monuments in Limerick and this graffiti will be removed by our cleansing team.
“As an aside, we’ve had more compliments than complaints about the Terry Wogan piece."
Limerick native Sir Terry died aged 77 on January 31, 2016 after a short but brave battle with cancer.
Wogan was often referred to as a 'national treasure' both in Britain and Ireland and was knighted for services to broadcasting in 2005.