Man stole 11 bottles of altar wine

A man stole 11 bottles of altar wine from a church before setting a fire in a field behind the building.

David Porter, aged 43, originally from Belfast, pleaded guilty to stealing the wine from the church in Kinsale, Co Cork, last month.

Bandon District Court heard that Garda David Barrett was on duty in Kinsale when he received a report at 7.05am on April 14 that there had been a burglary at the Carmelite Friary Church in the town.

Gda Barrett told the court that when he arrived he saw Porter in a field behind the church, sitting by a fire, with gloves and a holdall, which contained 11 bottles of altar wine.

He arrested Porter and took him to Bandon Garda Station.

Porter admitted breaking into the church and to taking the wine.

The court heard he had 36 previous convictions including some for theft, burglary, and public order.

He had spent the first 20 years of his life in Belfast before travelling to the US and beyond, developing a drink problem in his 20s which the court heard was now full-blown alcoholism. His addiction had cost him a job and a marriage, while he had recently been engaging with homeless services, sometimes sleeping rough.

The court was told Porter hoped to access an eight-month treatment programme in Carlow but Judge James McNulty said he wanted to hear more details about that programme

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