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‘Man of God’ arrested wants right to motu proprio

Letterkenny Courthouse.

Letterkenny Courthouse.

A KILDARE man intentionally smashed the windows of a parochial house in County Donegal at the weekend to get himself arrested, a judge heard.

Stephen Clarke (46) of 20 Glen Easton Close, Leixlip appeared before Judge Paul Kelly at Letterkenny District Court charged with criminal damage today.

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Gardai gave evidence of receiving a call from St Joseph’s Church The Rock Ballyshannon Parochial House at 5am on Sunday morning, July 19, reporting that a male was smashing the windows of the house.

When gardai arrived five minutes later all windows at the front of the parochial house had been smashed.
After being cautioned, Clarke told gardai ‘the priest wouldn’t open the door, so I smashed the windows’.

Clarke was charged with the offence at 6pm that evening. His reply was to gardai was: “I did it on purpose to get arrested as I am frustrated with the courts system.”

Clarke told the court that he was a ‘Man of God’ and all he wanted was the right to a ‘motu proprio’ which is an edict issued by the Pope personally to the Roman Catholic Church or to a part of it.

After initially objecting to bail on the grounds that gardai suspected the defendant would reoffend again, given his reasons for the offence before the court, Inspector Michael Harrison withdrew the State’s objection.

Judge Kelly remanded Clarke on bail to appear before Donegal town District Court on Monday, July 27.

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