Man stole almost €2,000 from St Eunan’s Cathedral during funeral mass

April 15, 2024

A man has appeared in court after being charged with stealing almost €2,000 from a church in Co Donegal while a funeral was taking place.

Ireneusz Matras appeared at Letterkenny District Court.

He is charged that on April 14th, 2024 at St Eunan’s Cathedral, Letterkenny, he did steal property to wit €1,754.55 and £6.13 stg, the property of parish priest, Monsignor Kevin Gillespie.

The charge is contrary to Section 4 of the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act 2001.

It follows an incident during midday mass at the Cathedral yesterday during which a large sum of cash was stolen from the sacristy of the church.

The robbery happened just moments after mass while a funeral was taking place.

The accused, aged 43, of Fortwell, Letterkenny, was arrested a short time later and taken to Letterkenny Garda Station for questioning.

He appeared before Judge Eiteain Cunningham this morning.

Garda Sergeant Maurice Doyle said evidence of arrest, charge and caution of the accused had been given by way of schedule.

The court was told that directions in the case had been forwarded from the Director of Public Prosecutions who has decided to deal with the case by way of summary disposal in the district court.

The man was represented in court by solicitor Mr Patsy Gallagher.

Mr Gallagher said the accused is a foreign national from Poland and that there will be a plea in the case.

However, while he said he had instructions he added he would like an interpreter in the case and was requesting an adjournment.

He also said that he was seeking a probation report in the case saying his client has no previous convictions.

Sergeant Doyle said there was no objection to bail but asked for a number of conditions.

They include that the accused provide and address and also signs on once a week at Letterkenny Garda Station.

Judge Cunningham agreed and adjourned the case until July 8th next.