Nine people have been arrested after a digger rammed into a Lidl supermarket in Dublin.
The looting took place just hours after the city was hit with its worst snowstorm in decades on Friday.
Video footage shared on social media showed a mechanical digger pulling down part of the supermarket’s outside wall.
Another video posted online by the Irish Independent newspaper shows people walking away from the back of the shop, with what appears to be items looted from inside. The videos are yet to be verified.
The German discount store, which was closed at the time of the break-in, has confirmed that a serious incident took place.
The incident is now being investigated by police, who say the damage to the building is “substantial”.
A police spokesperson said: “Following reports of burglary and theft of vehicles, Garda units deployed in the Tallaght district and nine arrests were made to date.
“Substantial damage was caused to a supermarket on Fortunestown Lane and further damage to another premises in Jobstown.”
A statement from Lidl said: “We are aware of the very serious incident at our Fortunestown Lane store this evening.
“As the store was closed when this incident occurred we can confirm no member of our team has been injured.
“Given that the incident is now the subject of a criminal investigation we are not in a position to comment further at this time.”
The army has also been drafted in to assist Gardai with the incident due to the severe weather.
A member of Ireland’s ruling Fine Gael party, parliamentarian Colm Brophy, condemned what he called “mindless criminal behaviour”, saying he was “particularly mindful that these actions have taken place in the midst of a code red weather warning when our emergency services are at full stretch”.
Mr Brophy went on to say: “What has taken place tonight puts people’s jobs at risk which is one of the sickest aspects of this shameful crime”.
False reports of a fire at the supermarket were also circulated, but Dublin’s fire service confirmed that no fire had been found.
During the day, severe snowstorms had led to most of Ireland being shut down, with defence forces called in to assist residents battling against the extreme weather.