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Limerick bishop hits out at thieves over church thefts

By Sean Ryan - 01 April, 2016

Bishop Brendan Leahy

Bishop Brendan Leahy

Bishop Brendan Leahy of Limerick has urged those responsible for thefts at two churches in the diocese over the last few days “to examine their conscience”.

The two thefts in question occurred in St Paul’s Church in Dooradoyle in Limerick City and St Oliver Plunkett’s Church in Mungret on the outskirts of Limerick City.

Almost €1,000 was stolen in the two robberies.

The thieves smashed rear windows to gain access to the sacristy areas and a sum of cash was taken during each break in.

It is believed that the thieves also burst through a large pane of glass in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel in St Paul’s.

A safe was broken into in St Paul’s Church in Dooradoyle with the offerings from Easter ceremonies for the Holy Land stolen.

Two men were arrested following the incident but were released without charge pending directions from the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Speaking about the thefts on local radio the Bishop of Limerick said, “this was money donated to the Church for activities such as supporting priests in their daily ministry to the people and also from the Holy Land collection for the protection and preservation of sites associated with the life and death of Jesus”.

He added that while the church will “get beyond” the money stolen, the “intent” and “sense of intrusion” is perhaps the more upsetting.

The Bishop continued, “For the priests, the sacristans, but also of course, parishioners who donated these funds and who would be appalled by such offences committed on their place of prayer and worship” he said.

The thefts was also condemned by local Fianna Fail Councillor and Seanad candidate Michael Collins.

“No premises is sacred from thieves anymore, it seems. It is a despicable act especially during Easter,” Councillor Collins said.

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