A man poured diesel inside a church causing an estimated €100,000 in damage because he felt upset by an offer of compensation over clerical child sex abuse.
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that in 2018 Ian Kidd (53) settled a High Court case against the Catholic Church.
On July 26, 2017 he received a letter from solicitors for the church with a “final offer” of €30,000 for the abuse he suffered at the hands of a priest.
Kidd with an address at Daytona, Brittas, Co Dublin, pleaded guilty to one count of criminal damage at St Agnes’ Church, St Agnes’ Road, Crumlin on July 26, 2017.
Judge Elma Sheahan, who first heard evidence last July, placed Kidd on a probation bond on Tuesday for 12 months and adjourned the case to January 18, 2021.
She said during that time Kidd must engage with the Probation Service and attend any addiction or mental health service his probation officer recommends.
Kidd’s lawyers told the court that Kidd found this offer derisory and became upset. He went out and filled a can with €5 worth of diesel and went to St Agnes’ Church in Crumlin.
He walked up to the altar and began pouring the fuel on the floor while shouting at “terrified” parishioners in the church to “get out, get out”.
“He had a cigarette and may have had the wherewithal to ignite the diesel but he did not,” Kieran Kelly BL, prosecuting, told the court.
The court heard that the bulk of the damage was caused when diesel was spilled on the altar, which is made of Carrara marble. A monstrance, a crucifix and a Paschal candle were also damaged.
A garda negotiating team arrived at the church and Kidd spoke to one garda about the historic abuse he suffered at the hands of a priest, now deceased.
The court heard that gardaí received multiple complaints of abuse allegedly committed by this priest. A High Court case, in which Kidd said he was repeatedly abused, resulted in a financial offer.
In a victim impact statement Father Paul Tyrell, the parish priest, said parishioners were terrified by the incident.
He added: “St Agnes has no desire to compound previous suffering [the accused] may have suffered in this parish in previous years”.