A fire which destroyed a large section of the boardwalk along the Boyne Canal near the M1 Mary McAleese Boyne valley Bridge last night is believed to have been started deliberately.
The fire was first reported as a grass fire at about 11pm but when Drogheda firefighters arrived it was discovered the boardwalk had been set alight.
The blaze could be seen for several miles, including from the nearby M1 motorway. The charred remains of a 125-metre section of the popular walk were visible to passersby this morning.
Cllr Sharon Tolan at the charred remains of part of the Boyne Boardwalk.
The fire caused extensive damage to the wooden structure but also to kerbing and phone lines which serve the nearby visitor centre at Oldbridge.
The firefighters remained at the scene until well after midnight. The exact cause of the fire is unknown at this stage but Gardai suspect that it was caused by arson.
Cllr Paddy Meade commented: "The fire last night at Oldbrodge was horrible in the ramparts walkway between Oldbridge House and the Boyne Cable Bridge.
- I ask anyone who may have saw how this fire started to please come forward."
So sad to learn of the fire last night on the boardwalk near the Sea Lock at Oldbridge. Thankfully no injuries reported, but damage speaks for itself. Great to hear @boyneboats not affected and business as usual #notcooltostartfires pic.twitter.com/p2oAIf3wlY— Mary Hughes (@MaryHughesAP) July 27, 2018
These images from Craig Reay show the fires raging with the Mary McAleese Boyne Bridge in the foreground