Irish priest accused of theft laid to relaxation in Australia as mobsters mourn cleric

AUSTRALIAN underworld figures had been among the many mourners at present on the funeral service of Irish priest Father Joe Walsh, who had been accused of embezzling €315,000 earlier than the costs had been dropped.

The Galway-born cleric, who was generally known as Father Armani due to his fondness for costly garments, handed away in Perth earlier this month following a three-year most cancers battle.

Father Joe Walsh was laid to rest in Perth


Father Joe Walsh was laid to relaxation in Perth
The funeral mass was held in St Joseph's Catholic Church in Subiaco, where Fr Walsh worked for 16 years


The funeral mass was held in St Joseph’s Catholic Church in Subiaco, the place Fr Walsh labored for 16 years

Over 1,000 folks turned out in St Joseph’s parish within the suburb of Subiaco to pay tribute to the 70-year-old priest as he was laid to relaxation.

Troy Mercanti, the boss of a infamous biker gang, was visibly upset as he helped carry the coffin of his shut pal.

One other well-known gangland determine, John Kizon, the goal of as much as 20 Australian police operations for the reason that Eighties, was additionally among the many mourners.

The priest grew to become well-known in Australia after he was sensationally accused of stealing half 1,000,000 {dollars} from his personal church fund.

However his family members spoke at his funeral to say there was way more to his legacy.

His godson and nephew Eoin advised how the priest’s sickness worsened after he was charged with three dozen counts of theft, after a police investigation in 2018 and 2019.

Most learn in The Irish Solar

Throughout his eulogy it was revealed that as a 10-year-old, Father Walsh had obtained a personalised letter from then US president John F Kennedy and the way he had met Mom Theresa within the Nineteen Seventies.

He had additionally briefly labored as a sandblaster when he moved to Perth on a scholarship.

He then went on to speak about his time at St Joseph’s parish in Subiaco and his legacy.

Eoin stated: “The establishment that he served turned on him. He fought an incredible battle to show his innocence. However (that battle) won’t be how you’ll be remembered.”

His legal prices had been ultimately dropped, whereas a civil lawsuit launched by St Joseph’s — the church he had served for twenty years previous to the allegations — was settled in June final 12 months.

The service was dwell streamed to Father Walsh’s household in Eire, in addition to buddies within the UK and the US.


Father Peter Black who led the service stated that earlier than his passing, he had given him “strict directions” in regards to the service, amongst which was to “hold it transient”.

He advised Father Black: “Don’t give attention to all this garbage that has not too long ago overtaken my life. Concentrate on the gospel and what actually issues.”

Denis Glennon, the daddy of Irish lady Ciara Glennon, who was murdered by serial killer Bradley Edwards in 1997, additionally gave a brief eulogy, wherein he thanked Father Walsh for his compassion and friendship over the previous 25 years.

He praised him for “daring to be totally different” and “loyal when in want of belief”.

The Fields of Athenry and Danny Boy had been sung on the funeral mass earlier than the priest was cremated.

Father Walsh had been accused of utilizing parish bank cards and cheques on private bills.


He was initially charged with six counts of stealing AUS$252,000 (round €154,000), however an extra 30 prices had been later added to deliver the alleged quantity stolen to just about AUS$500,000 (over €300,000).

The cleric pleaded not responsible to 36 prices in Perth Magistrates Courtroom however the prices had been later dismissed.

Police investigation confirmed that he splurged AUS$185,000 (€116,000) on journey between 2014 and 2017.

Journeys included boat cruises round Monte Carlo. visits to Mauritius, Kenya and Bali.

He additionally had holidayed in Eire, staying within the luxurious Mount Falcon Property in Co Mayo.

The Director of Public Prosecutions dropped the costs as a result of so-called canon regulation allowed a priest to spend parish cash as he noticed match.

However he was additionally hailed for elevating hundreds of thousands of {dollars} for charities and Archbishop Timothy Costelloe, who paid tribute to him following his demise, was criticised by Father Walsh’s supporters for pursuing the civil case.

Earlier than his arrest the late cleric was a well known determine within the Irish neighborhood in Western Australia and was closely concerned with the native Irish Membership.

He was additionally concerned in organising fundraising to assist the households of 9 Irish folks killed in a sequence of tragic accidents in Perth in 2015.

Fr Walsh also raised millions for charity


Fr Walsh additionally raised hundreds of thousands for charity
Members of the Mongols Motorcycle Club attended the funeral


Members of the Mongols Bike Membership attended the funeralCredit score: Alamy Irish priest accused of theft laid to relaxation in Australia as mobsters mourn cleric

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