'Lowest of the low': Thieves smash safe in County Limerick church to steal Easter dues  

'A huge insult to the local community': Limerick TD Niall Collins

Donal O'Regan

Reporter:

Donal O'Regan

'Lowest of the low': Thieves smash safe in County Limerick church to steal Easter dues  

Niall Collins called the crime the 'lowest of the low'

SOULLESS criminals broke into a County Limerick church over the weekend and stole the Easter dues.

The safe was smashed open in Ballylanders church sometime between 7.30pm on Easter Sunday and 8.30am on Bank Holiday Monday.

The thieves made off with a sum of money in the region of €4,500, the Limerick Leader understands. The coffers were swelled by the Trocaire Lenten campaign boxes, a collection for a new church roof, Easter dues and the regular collection.

Parish priest, Fr Thomas Breen said locals are very “upset” over what happened.

“I discovered it on Monday morning. It wasn’t very pleasant. They broke in through a side door, found the safe and smashed it open,” said Fr Breen.

Asked if he thought the criminals deliberately chose the night of Easter Sunday when collections would he larger than normal, Fr Breen said: “It would appear that way.”

He is appealing to anyone who may have witnessed any suspicious activity in the Ballylanders area to contact Bruff gardai on 061 382940.

“There was no news yesterday. Gardai said they will be checking CCTV cameras in the locality,” said Fr Breen this Wednesday. He thanked his parishioners for all their support in the last few days.

Deputy Niall Collins described the crime as the “lowest of the low”.

“It is a huge insult to the local community who were so generous in their offerings over Easter. To think that these criminals would target the church is absolutely despicable. 

“The local community are very, very angry that people would dare to break in to their church and smash the safe open. Nothing is sacred anymore,” said Mr Collins.

One Ballylanders man told the Leader: “Hell isn’t good enough for whoever did this. You see little old ladies putting in money from their pension and for that to end up in the hands of these crooks – it disgust me.”

He said people are “furious”.

“I hope the guards catch them and the judge throws the book at them. To take the money from the Trocaire boxes, it just beggars belief.

“They are basically taking money out of the mouths of starving children,” he said.

A garda spokesperson confirmed they are investigating a burglary at a church in Ballylanders between 7.30pm on Sunday, April 16 and 8.30am on Monday, April 17

“A door was forced and a sum of cash stolen. Anyone with any information about the incident should contact Bruff gardai on 061 382940,” said the garda spokesperson.