An investigation is under way after a large wooden sculpture featured on Waterford's Greenway route was destroyed in a fire.

The sculpture was erected earlier this year as a biodiversity project in tribute to an Irish mythological goddess called Éiriu.

The fire service was called to the scene at Carriganore on the outskirts of the city early on Friday morning where the large wooden structure was in flames.

Fire crews were unable to save the artwork. The centre of the sculpture is now a mound of ash with only the outstretched hand and feet remaining.

Of the sculpture, only the outstretched hand and feet remain

Gardaí are treating it as an incident of criminal damage and are appealing for any witnesses or anyone with information to come forward.

The sculpture is of 'Éiriu' and was carved by Special Branch Carvers' John Hayes, a master wood craftsman who has designed other works including the 23 metre sword lying in Waterford's Viking Triangle.

The project was unveiled in March as part of a biodiversity project (Credit: Special Branch Carvers Facebook)

It was installed in March of this year as part of a biodiversity project, in collaboration with the South East Technological University.

Gardaí asked for anyone in the area early on Friday morning and who noticed anything suspicious to contact Waterford Garda Station on 051-305300.