AS thousands of people walked through the streets of Ennis to
show their support for Darkness Into Light and Pieta House, callous
thieves stole from the charity and are continuing to do so, in what has been described as a “heartbreak”.
A collection bucket was stolen in the early hours of Saturday morning, May 12 and unsuspecting members of the public are now being targeted by fake
Reports have already been received by the Darkness Into Light organising committee in Ennis of a number of fraudulent bucket collections in the county town, Bunratty and Corofin.
The matter has been reported to An Garda Síochána and the charity is appealing to members of the public who might suspect a fake collection, that they contact the gardaí.
It is understood that the collections are being carried out by a male teenager wearing a blue Pieta House t-shirt.
Councillor Mary Howard, one of the organising committee of Darkness Into Light, said, “Pieta House is such an importantcharity and people are so generous.
“It’s incredulous to think that somebody could do something like this. So much effort went into Darkness Into Light by so many volunteers, it’s a heartbreak to realise that this has happened and that there could be people out there posing as collectors
from Pieta House and taking advantage of the goodwill of people.
“So many people in Clare benefit from the work of Pieta House.”
“Pieta House don’t charge for counselling, so every penny that is raised makes such a difference.
“But to have someone distract a security guard and take a bucket, which could have been taken all around the town that night and money falsely collected, it’s
just not fair,” Councillor Mary Howard continued.
“Darkness Into Light was an amazing event, so many people came out and got involved and there was a fantastic atmosphere.
“So for this to happen on such a fantastic and important night, it’s just so disappointing.”
She confirmed that a youth was spotted falsely collecting for Pieta House outside Ennis supermarkets over the weekend, while other fraudulent collections in
other parts of the county have also been reported.
“If anybody sees this happening, please report it to the gardaí. It would appear that they only stay in one place for a short amount of time,” she said.
She has urged the public to be wary. “We are asking people to be vigilant. Pieta House do not do random collections on the streets or outside supermarkets. If we are
doing a collection, then we would let the public know in advance
and we would have a permit.
“Our volunteers would all have some form of ID or clearance from Pieta House. I would tell people, if you see a young teenager with a bucket then be aware that it’s not kosher.
“If you see anything suspicious outside of a supermarket, contact the manager. If your instinct tells you something is not right, it’s not right.
“Pieta House helps so many people and it’s important that we support them in any way we can. We need to get the message out there that we are not going to tolerate people who do this, that we will be vigilant and keep an eye out.”