Limerick Grand Knight seeks help after precious holy robes are stolen

Precious items belonging to the Knights of St Columbanus Order stolen from car

Fintan Walsh


Fintan Walsh

Limerick Grand Knight seeks help after thugs steal holy robes from car

20 royal blue robes were stolen

PRECIOUS holy robes belonging to the Knights of St Columbanus Order have gone missing after thugs broke into a car in Corbally and stole the garments on Easter Thursday.

Last Thursday, April 13, between 8pm and 9pm, Grand Knight Brian McCarthy’s car was broken into at St Munchin’s College, while he was watching a game of wheelchair basketball in the hall.

When he returned to the car park, he noticed that the driver’s door was unlocked, and that a suitcase containing 20 royal blue robes, a crucifix and a historic charter had been stolen.

He added that the culprit attempted to remove the radio after contents from the glove compartment were tossed all over the floor.

The robes are, collectively, valued at more than €1,000, while the crucifix costs around €30, he said. However, a charter signed to establish the Limerick Knights in 1934, is “historic and irreplaceable”, Mr McCarthy said.

Later that night, the Knights of St Columbanus — a confidential, fraternal Catholic Order — “did a good recce” of the woods and the riverfront in Corbally, Shannon Banks, and the surrounding St Munchin’s grounds. However, they were unable to find the religious garments, which are primarily worn at meetings and celebratory occasions.

The next morning, Mr McCarthy reported the incident to Mayorstone garda station, who are now investigating the theft.

“My wife contacted Team Limerick Cleanup, just in case they were dumped somewhere in Limerick, and they advised Mr Binman just in case something like that popped up. But we just want the safe return of our robes that are really used for religious celebrations only.”

“Our Knights recently participated in the pilgrimage of Our Lady of Fatima at St John’s Cathedral around two weeks ago, as a guard of honour, and Bishop Brendan Leahy had requested that it would be appropriate to wear our robes, which we did. But, normally, they are only worn at meetings,” he explained.

And though they have “huge value” to the Order, the special robes have “no resale value”, the North Circular Road man said.

“Nobody else will be really wearing them. So, our worry is that they were thrown into the Shannon or burned. But we do hope that the people of Limerick will help, as the people have always been good to the Knights of Saint Columbanus, and the Knights of Saint Columbanus have tried to be good to the Church in Limerick and to wider society,” he told the Leader this week.

The Knights, since the foundation in Limerick, have been known to contribute to those in need in the community, running the annual Fuel for the Poor collection in the city and county for decades.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Mayorstone garda station at 061-212416, or alternative the Knights of St Columbanus, via e-mail, at