Local politicians have criticised vandals after a landmark tree sculpture was damaged by fire in Raheny, Co Dublin, overnight.

Gardaí have said they are aware of the incident of criminal damage and inquiries are under way.

The tree, near one of the entrances to St Anne's Park, had been carved into an elaborate sculpture depicting local wildlife.

The work was commissioned by Dublin City Council and completed by tree sculptor Tommy Craggs.

One side of the tree was damaged by the fire overnight and it has now been cordoned off by the council.

Lord Mayor of Dublin Tom Brabazon said: "This is a beautiful sculpture enjoyed by adults and children alike, and I want to condemn this wanton act of vandalism in the strongest possible terms.

"It's so sad to see something like this happen. I would appeal to anyone with any information to contact the gardaí."

Fianna Fáil Councillor for the local area Daryl Barron wrote on Twitter: "I'm horrified and shocked at the damage done to the Peace Tree in Raheny overnight.

"I have reached out to Dublin City Council Area Management to try and repair the damage caused. I’ve no words to describe what type of person would do this."

Fine Gael's Naoise Ó Muirí shared a photo of the tree and commented: "Beyond belief that someone would try and set a match to this gorgeous tree sculpture."

Green Party Councillor Donna Cooney also tweeted about the incident, saying: "This is so sad, I watched the artist Tommy Craggs create this piece."