Belfast priest charged with six counts of theft from his church

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A Church of Ireland parish minister has been released on bail after a hearing before the Lisburn Magistrates Court on 28 October 2022. The Rev. Adrian McLaughlin, the rector of St Colman’s Parish Church in Dunmurry has been charged with six counts of fraud by abuse of position.

Mr. McLaughlin (46) is alleged to have written a £10,000 cheque on the church’s account to himself; of keeping a £1,000 donation; taking £520 from donations for use of the church hall; and keeping donations given at a funeral that were collected on behalf of the Royal Victoria Hospital Liver Unit Group.

The defendant did not offer a defense at the preliminary hearing and was released after posting bail of £500.  District Judge Rosie Watters returned the case to Craigavon Crown Court and his arraignment has been scheduled for 6 December 2022.  Mr. McLaughlin has been placed on leave by the Diocese of Connor pending the disposition of the trial.

The case continues.