Men to be sentenced for church raid

| February 5, 2010

A drug addict who held a knife to the throat of a Dublin priest before tying him and a parishioner up with cable ties has been remanded in custody pending sentence.

The Circuit Criminal Court heard Jason Kinch (34) of Barnvale Park, Ballyfermot, and his accomplice, Anthony Carolan (32) from Crumlin, hid in confessional boxes as Father Declan Gallagher locked up Donnybrook church on April 27th, 2007.

They then went to the sacristy where the clergyman was speaking to a “vulnerable parishioner” and threatened them both at knife point.

Sergeant Donncha Maguire said the raiders held a knife to Fr Gallagher’s throat and told him, “The guards are after us. We want money for a taxi. Play along with us or you are a goner.” They then searched the pockets of both men.

Kinch and Carolan removed the men from the sacristy and bundled them into an office where the safe was kept before they took €300, $100 and STG£50 in cash and various charity boxes. They also took the priest’s chequebook and phone but later threw them away.

They then fled and CCTV cameras in the church porch recorded the men removing their masks as they left.

Fr Gallagher was able to use a nearby blade to cut the cable ties and free himself and the parishioner. Gardaí were called and they identified both men on the CCTV footage.

Kinch pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to aggravated burglary at the church. He had 17 previous convictions, which all bar one, were dealt with in the Children’s Court. Judge Katherine Delahunt today adjourned the case to later this month when she will finalise sentence.

Carolan is due for sentence before Judge Patricia Ryan later this week after he pleaded guilty to the same offence on the day of his trial.

Tags: , ,

Category: Church Security

Comments are closed.