The steel cross at the top of Carrauntoohil, Ireland’s tallest mountain in the MacGillycuddy Reeks of Co. Kerry, has been cut down in an apparent act of vandalism.

The 16.5 foot cross is considered iconic. It was erected in 1976 – a group effort by 100 people who carried the cross up the mountain in pieces and then welded it together at the summit.

Climbers who reached the top of Carrauntoohil yesterday discovered the cross, alerting authorities and the group Kerry Climbing.

It is believed that an angle grinder was used to cut down the cross, RTE reports. It was cut about a foot from a base and pushed over in a westward direction. Early analysis indicates it was likely cut down in the last few days.