An alleged burglar ransacked Newry Cathedral offices to steal £2.50, the High Court has heard.
Prosecutors said the intruder was chased through the city’s streets by a priest after carrying out the raid.
James McDonagh, 28, is charged with burglary of a non-dwelling over last month’s suspected break-in.
He was refused bail despite defence claims that failures to pick him out at identification procedures has weakened the case.
Mr Justice Burgess heard three police officers still believe McDonagh, of Dominic Street in Newry, is the man seen on CCTV footage linked to the incident.
Conor Gillespie, prosecuting, said an intruder went into the cathedral’s parochial office and ransacked it on October 16.
A bunch of keys and £2.50 in cash was stolen.
“He was chased by the local parish priest,” the barrister disclosed.
The clergyman pursued the alleged burglar through Newry bus station, with CCTV recordings said to have captured part of the chase.
McDonagh was later arrested and charged with the offences.
His lawyers mounted a fresh bid to secure his release from custody based on the outcome of two Viper identification procedures.
Neither the priest nor another independent witness singled out McDonagh, the court heard.
Defence counsel claimed there was a “fundamental contradiction” between the description of the burglar and his client’s appearance.
He also contended that police may have formed a preconceived opinion because they stopped McDonagh about an unrelated issue earlier the same day.
But the judge held that the officers’ evidence still amounts to a prima facie case.
Refusing bail, he confirmed: “I don’t think there’s a change of circumstances in this case.”