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Holy show Father-of-11 charged with using hook to take money from church collections

Speaking with the Sunday Word this week, Vasile said he was staying away from all churches as a result of the charges.

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Chilimbar Vasile at his home in Cork this week.

Chilimbar Vasile at his home in Cork this week.

Chilimbar Vasile at his home in Cork this week.

Meet the father-of-11 barred from church after he was accused of using a wire hook to raid collection boxes in five churches in two separate counties.

Chilimbar Vasile (55) appeared before Mallow District Court earlier this week charged with stealing money from locked collection boxes in churches by fishing the funds out with a wire hook.

Mallow District Court heard how Vasile, a Romanian national, allegedly stole envelopes containing cash from churches in Waterford and Cork.

He was charged with a total of five thefts from churches in the two counties.

Speaking with the Sunday World this week, Vasile said he was staying away from all churches as a result of the charges.

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Vasile spoke to our reporter Patrick after his court appearance

Vasile spoke to our reporter Patrick after his court appearance

Vasile spoke to our reporter Patrick after his court appearance

He added that although he is of the Pentecostal faith he increasingly feels like a Catholic.

At Monday's hearing, Vasile of Eagle Valley, Sarsfield Road, Wilton, Cork, was charged with thefts from churches in Shanagarry, Carrigtwohill and Cloyne in Co Cork and from a church in Dungarvan, Co Waterford.

He was charged with the theft of €15 from St Mary's Church, Carrigtwohill, on January 23 and an additional €15 from the same church a day later, both sums being the property of parish priest, Fr Patrick Winkle.

He was also charged with the theft of €5 from the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Shanagarry, on November 21, 2020, and the theft of €5 from St Colman's Church, Cloyne, on January 23, both sums being the property of parish priest, Fr Patrick Linehan.

Vasile was further charged with the theft of €5 from St Augustine's Church, Abbeyside, Dungarvan, Co Waterford, on January 15, the money being the property of Fr Ned Hassett.

Detective Garda David Kelleher told Judge Patricia Harney that gardai had no objection to bail being granted in the case as long as strict bail conditions were adhered to by the accused.

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Solicitor David O'Meara, representing Mr Vasile, said his client was willing to abide by the terms of bail set down by the courts.

Det Gda Kelleher said gardai wanted Mr Vasile to sign on daily at Togher garda station in Cork.

He was also told to stay out of Carrigtwohill, Cloyne, Shanagarry and Dungarvan, in addition to other churches in the area.

Det Gda Kelleher said the garda probe was ongoing and that further charges may be brought in the case. He applied for an adjournment of six weeks to facilitate DPP directions in the matter.

Judge Harney granted the State application. She remanded Mr Vasile, who was granted legal aid, on his own bond of €100 to appear at Midleton District Court on March 11.

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