Hanging out to dry: Knights’ robes were badly water-damaged
PRECIOUS holy robes that went missing after they were stolen from the boot of a car in Limerick have been returned to the Knights of St Columbanus Order.
On Easter Thursday, Grand Knight Brian McCarthy’s car was broken into while he was watching a game of wheelchair basketball at the St Munchin’s College sports hall.
After an attempt to remove the car radio, and contents being removed from the glove compartment, the culprit stole a suitcase, which contained 20 royal blue robes, an historic charter, and a crucifix.
Last Wednesday, the Grand Knight received a phone call from Fr Pat Hogan, to inform him that the robes, which were badly water-damaged and mud-stained, had been left in the church in Southill.
Commenting on the miraculous recovery, Mr McCarthy, North Circular Road, said that he was “very grateful” for the return of the garments, which are mainly used for ceremonial purposes.
The original charter, signed to establish the local Knights in 1934, was also recovered, but it is understood to be in a state of disrepair.
It is currently being restored by ecclesiastical decorator, Randel Hodkinson, on Henry Street.
It is not known who dropped the religious items at the church, nor is it known where the robes were found.
The Grand Knight reckons that they “could have been left in a field somewhere”.
Chaplain of the Knights Fr Joe Hayes, who collected the items from Fr Hogan, said that the robes “have huge sentimental value” for the fraternal Order.
“I would imagine that whoever took them, or whatever group took them, I presume it must have been very depressing.
“If you see a suitcase in a fairly elaborate car, you steal it, and all you find inside are these robes, it must have been very depressing for the poor fellas who stole it.”
Fr Hayes said it was “very nice” of the people to drop the robes at the church. Mr McCarthy said that the dirtied robes had to be washed twice and hosed down at his home, before being sent to the dry cleaners last week.
Gardaí at Mayorstone were investigating.