Inquisitive kitten Richie is safe and well following a dramatic rescue near Thurles, County Tipperary.

Six month old kitten Richie had been missing for three days before her owners realised she was under the family home near Thurles, County Tipperary.

Homeowner Tom Ryan Casey heard her distressed cries coming from a radon pipe under their dormer bungalow. No amount of coaxing could remove the kitten from the foundations.

In desperation the family sought assistance from the Gerry Ryan Show and local radio station Tipp FM about how the Richie could be saved.

Help came from a drainage firm A Quick Sharp and closed circuit television firm Weiser Systems. Using a cable and camera they spent five hours trying to trace the kitten. They discovered Richie had squeezed into the opening of a pipe and then crawled along the duct before getting stuck.

Tom Ryan Casey says the four hour rescue mission was a massive drilling job involving

A lot of manpower and a lot of hard work.

The amount of concrete to get through made the job especially labour intensive. The workmen initially used a hammer and chisel but the work moved faster once they brought in a pneumatic drill.

Richie is none the worse for her ordeal and is back home with the Ryan Casey family and her sister Lulu.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 7 March 2006. The reporter is Cathy Halloran.