Irish dance troupe's costumes stolen in Christchurch

A travelling troupe of Irish dancers has had all its costumes stolen in an overnight theft in Christchurch - and is offering a reward for their return.

A bodhran drum and personal suitcases were also taken in the theft from the Rhythms of Ireland's tour bus while it was parked on Bealey Ave, outside their motel.

"We came down this morning at half seven to get on the bus to go to Oamaru - and we opened the doors and there were no cases underneath the bus," lead dancer Ashleigh John told NZME.

"We're actually gutted. All of us are being very positive, we had such a brilliant show in Christchurch and we were really on a buzz from that.

"And to come down this morning and just slowly realise that these things had been taken has put a bit of a dampener on it. We're all a bit down about it."

The costumes are of no use to anybody else, John added.

"And to be honest we've done a few shows in the costumes and they are not washed every night. So the poor person who has had to open those cases is not going to be too delighted with what they've got."

The group began the tour in Dunedin a week ago and still has two more South Island shows, and a North Island leg to follow.

The Irish dancing community has quickly stepped up to help and the group has been lent costumes for its Oamaru show tonight.

However, they really want their own gear back and are offering a "generous reward".

"There's no hard feelings," John said.

"We would just love to have them back so we can carry on and we can feel good on stage, and keep putting on the show that we would love the New Zealand public to see," she said.

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