Donegal man to stand trial for robbing churches

April 18, 2024

A Bundoran man has been charged with stealing cash from Churches in Donegal, Roscommon and Cavan.

Nathan Coughlan, who has also been charged with stealing expensive tools and a valuable iPad in separate incidents, was before Ballyshannon District Court this week.

The 27-year-old, of Silverhill, Bundoran, faces a series of charges relating to incidents in 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024.

Coughlan, who was represented by solicitor Mr Frank Murphy when he appeared at Ballyshannon District Court, told Judge Ciaran Liddy that he wished for his matters to be dealt with in the Circuit Court.

He is charged with stealing €47 in candle offerings from St Asicus Church, Frenchpark, County Roscommon on August 16, 2022 and with stealing an estimated €150 in candle offerings from St Bridgid’s Church, Kilbride, County Roscommon on June 26, 2022.

Coughlan was charged with stealing €30 in cash and causing €630 worth of criminal damage at Sacred Heart Church in Mountcharles on November 22, 2022.

He was charged in connection with an incident at Church of Our Lady Star of the Sea, Bundoran, on November 9, 2021. Coughlan entered the Church as a trespasser and attempted to take money out of a money box.

Coughlan was charged with taking donation envelopes, containing an unknown sum of money, from The Fiary, Rossnowlagh on April 28, 2023.

He was charged with stealing coins to a value of between €50 and €200 from Drumalee Church, County Cavan on October 21, 2020 and he faces a further charge of causing criminal damage to the collection box on the candelabra of the same Church on the same date.

The defendant is also charged with the theft of an Apple iPad Pro, valued at €1,200, and a Redmi mobile phone valued at €250, at West End, Bundoran, on May 30, 2021.

Coughlan was charged with, while entering a property at Lareen, Kinlough as a trespasser on October 12, 2022, that he did steal tools – a compressor, a blow heater and a handheld air gauge.

Coughlan was also charged with stealing €26 worth of clothes from Dunnes Stores in Sligo on April 10, 2020.

He also faces a theft charge relating to an alleged incident at America House, West End, Bundoran, on January 13, 2024.

In the case of each charge, Coughlan told Judge Liddy that he wished for them to be dealt with before a Judge and Jury at the Circuit Court.

Judge Liddy remanded Coughlan on continuing bail until June 21, 2024 for the purpose of preparing a book of evidence.