A PRIEST got a very welcome call from Gardai late on Friday night after they had recovered chalices which were stolen from his car in September while he was saying mass. On Friday night a man was out walking in Umeraboy, Knocknagree at 10pm when he spotted pamphlets and other religious documents scattered around the road. He also saw an opened case with two chalices inside.
He immediately phoned Gardai, who were at the scene within minutes.
Fr Kevin McNamara told The Corkman that he was "thrilled" to see Garda Frank O'Sullivan knock on his door with the stolen vestments. Garda O'Sullivan along with Garda Joe Sheahan had gone to Umeraboy when they received the call from the man out walking and went through all the strewn litter.
The chalices had been given to Fr McNamara by his parents when he joined the priesthood over three decades ago.
They were of great sentimental value to him and, he said, over the weekend when he said mass the chalices were right beside him.
He was saying mass in Gneeveguilla at 7.30pm on Tuesday, September 25 when two cars outside were broken into. The goods were taken from Fr McNamara's car.
When asked if he had given up hope of ever having them returned to him, he said that people in Gneeveguilla, Rathmore and Knocknagree always told him to not give up hope.
"My parishioners always told me to keep the prayers going and they would pray for their return too. I'm simply thrilled and so are the parishioners," he said.
Inspector Tony Sugrue of Kanturk Garda station said: "we are delighted to return the chalices to him as they were not only of great religious value to him but of great sentimental value."