Bad weekend for Irish churches as Trocaire boxes and tabernacle stolen in separate incidents
Gardaí are investigating two separate burglaries which occurred at churches in Longford and Clare over the weekend.
Trocaire boxes and the Easter collection were stolen from Ennistymon Church in Co Clare on Sunday evening/Monday morning.
Some minor damage was done to the church doors as the thieves forced their way into the building.
Parish priest, Father Willie Cummins appealed for anyone with information to come forward.
The damage following a break in at St Michael's Church in Shroid, outside Longford Town. pic.twitter.com/l1bdRK7HTA— Sinéad Hussey (@SineadHus) April 16, 2017
In a statement posted on the church's Facebook page, Fr Cummins said: "No damage to the religious side of the church but Trocaire and Easter collection is gone. Please help to stop this happening to anyone else."
Meanwhile, in Longford, a window was smashed in at St Michael's Church in Shroid as thieves broke in and stole a tabernacle.
The altar was badly damaged and several other items were taken.
The discovery was made shortly after 7am on Easter Sunday morning.
Speaking to the Longford Leader, Bishop Francis Duffy said: "It is extremely upsetting for the parishioners and the clergy here in Longford that something like this could happen, but especially during Holy Week."
Parish Priest Fr Tony Gilhooly said told RTE Radio One that the incident put a dampener on the easter ceremonies.
He said: "When the news filtered through yesterday morning I thought to myself that we'd been here on Holy Saturday night and with me were my colleagues and Bishop Francis.
"We had a cup of tea after the Easter vigil and we thanked God about how well the ceremonies went so well and were so prayerful for us and the congregation.
"And then to wake up and to hear this news on Easter Sunday morning was devastating."
Locals were outraged by the incident, with one person saying: "Just shows the lack of respect there is for other people's beliefs. Such disrespect. Horrible."
Anyone with information on either incident is asked to contact Longford garda station on 043 33 50570 or Ennistymon garda station on 065 7072180.