Shrine robbers to do work at Port church

Two Portarlington men who stole money from the local Catholic church have been ordered to carry out voluntary work at the church by way of restitution.

Michael Birmingham, Gracefield, and Eoin Foster, 8 Kilmalogue Downs, were charged with burglary from St Michael’s Church, Patrick Street, Portarlington, on July 23 last year.

Inspector Declan Dunne gave evidence that the internal doors of the church were broken and the shrine forced open. Money was taken, and €505 damage was caused.

Defence for both men was Philip Meagher.

Mr Meagher said that his clients appreciated the meanness of the act. He said that Birmingham had very little recollection of the event as he had been “out of it” on cannabis, while Foster had very little recollection as he “had substances taken”.

Judge Catherine Staines put the matter back to May 1 for a probation report, and both men paid €280 compensation. She ordered both men to carry out voluntary work at the church and asked Insp Dunne to inquire with the parish priest if any work was needed on the church grounds.


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