herald

Tuesday 19 March 2019

Heartless armed thug steals €10k meant for charity outside church

The hooded man was carrying a knife as he stole the money. (Stock picture)
The hooded man was carrying a knife as he stole the money. (Stock picture)

A callous thug has stolen €10,000 worth of charity donations for the poor at knifepoint outside a church.

The community of Balrothery, Tallaght, has been left shocked and angered after a lone man drove into the grounds of St Aengus Parish yesterday morning and committed the violent robbery.

During the incident, a man in his 70s received minor slash wounds to his arm, as the assailant made off with thousands of euro of donations.

It is understood around €6,000 was to be donated to St Vincent de Paul (SVP) and €4,000 to the church.

Hooded

Fr Ben Moran told the Herald the two volunteers were getting ready to transfer the money to the bank, but as they reached their car a hooded man drove up to the grounds, blocking their exit.

"He just casually walked up to the men while carrying a knife and said, 'I'll be taking that, gentlemen'," Fr Moran said.

"The volunteers naturally resisted, but during the struggle the assailant slashed one of them in the arm. He then made off with the cash and drove off, leaving the two men in total disbelief.

"It could have been a lot worse - who knows what this guy was capable of. The injured man ended up in hospital and needed stitches, but otherwise he's doing fine."

Fr Moran added the money taken would have gone a very long way for people in need.

"People in this parish are usually very generous during our SVP collection and go above and beyond in terms of donations," he said.

"Over the weekend, we were also collecting for our church and received a very generous sum of money from the local community. It's such a shame that their hard-earned money has been taken away like this."

Tallaght councillor Mick Duff said he believes the man responsible must have done a significant amount of research before he carried out the robbery.

"This guy definitely did his homework and must have known the routine of these two men," he said.

Unite

"This is a new low for our area. This money would have gone directly to poor and needy families. The thug that did this has literally robbed the bread from their mouths.

"I hope that as a parish we can unite in doing all we can to help overturn this loss and I appeal to anyone who has any information to contact gardai."

Gardai said they were investigating a theft and assault at around 10.30am yesterday at Balrothery.

"A male in his 70s was robbed of cash by a male and received minor slash wounds to his arm from a knife. The injured party was taken to hospital with minor injuries," said the spokesperson.

"No arrests have been made and investigations are ongoing."

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