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Dublin: 4°C Wednesday 8 December 2021

Shoppers warned to watch out for 'fake Buddhist monk' asking for money around Dublin

The man is known to gardaí and Dublin City Council for pestering people around the Grafton Street and O’Connell Street areas.

Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

THE IRISH BUDDHIST Union (IBU) has warned people in Dublin city centre not to be conned by a fake monk who asks people for money.

The man is known to gardaí and shopowners for pestering people around the Grafton Street and O’Connell Street areas. He is dressed in full Buddhist robes and carries around a trinket in which he collects cash.

He is claiming that the money is a donation for his school.

The IBU was contacted by members of the public in recent weeks who wanted to know if the man was really a monk.

The IBU explained that some teachers may look for donations to rent out rooms/areas for meditation or services but that it would never approach people on the street looking for money in this way.

Reverend Myozan Kodo Kilroy, president of the Irish Buddhist Union, an umbrella group for Buddhist organisations in Ireland, said the public needs to be wary when giving money to people purporting to be collectors for Buddhism.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, he said: “The public need to be wary of people presenting themselves as Buddhist clergy with next to no credentials at all. The problem of fake Buddhist clergy approaching the public for money has become a problem in many North American cities, and it has just recently arrived in Ireland.

“It brings legitimate Buddhist clergy into disrepute, and that is a matter of concern. A few simple questions can help you identify if you’re dealing with a fake Buddhist monk or not. What school of Buddhism are they from? Where is their centre of practice in Ireland? Who was their teacher? If they’re vague on any of these questions, the chances are they are fake.”

Anyone with concerns are urged to contact the Irish Buddhist Union at ibu.ie.

“Certainly, with Buddhism growing so quickly in Ireland, the public need to be certain that they are dealing with genuine Buddhist monks and teachers, with the authority to teach and from a genuine tradition.

“There are fakes and chancers out there, sure. But people also need to know that most Buddhist organisations and teachers in Ireland are genuine, can be trusted, and are offering teachings that can help us all enrich our lives, find peace within ourselves, and contribute positively to the wider society,” the reverend added.

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