A church in Wicklow has been damaged extensively as a result of smoke and water damage following a fire earlier today.

The blaze happened at St Patrick’s Church in the centre of Wicklow town.

The fire began near the Christmas crib at around 2pm.

It is understood that there is serious but localised fire damage in the area where the fire began but the remainder of the church has been badly damaged by smoke and water.

It is not yet known how the fire began but gardai believe it may have been started maliciously.

A woman in her forties is helping gardaí with their enquiries.

Two units of Wicklow fire service attended the scene and quickly extinguished the blaze.

Nobody was injured in the incident.