15 Aug 2022

Vandalism at Limavady church: ‘Parishioners are very upset’-says Monsignor

Monsignor Bryan McCanny of St Mary’s in Limavady has said his parishoners are “very upset” by vandalism discovered at the church this morning (July 31). Police are treating graffiti sprayed on the church doors and the splattering of paint on a cross in the chapel grounds as a sectarian hate crime. ‘UDA’ and ‘UFF’ were sprayed on the church doors. It follows an upsurge in the flying of loyalist paramilitary flags and the painting of kerbstones, road markings, bollards, traffic islands and roundabouts in red, white and blue colours in recent days. Monsignor McCanny said the incident was the first of its type at the church. “We’ve never had a problem like this before. There was something very minor about five or six years ago but this is completely new to us. Parishioners are very upset about it. It’s depressing that things like this should happen when we are enjoytng peace. “The two police officers that arrived this morning helped to clean paint off the door,” "It needs nipped in the bud. Limavady has always been a respectful town. We don’t want the peace disturbed.” Unionist representatives for the area have condemned the incident. DUP Councillor Aaron Callan said: “This is disgusting and vile and should be rightly condemned by everyone. There is no room for this kind of behaviour in society, be it an attack on a chapel, church or orange hall.” And, UUP Councillor Darryl Wilson said: “I’m saddened and angered to see another attack on a community building within the borough. These mindless thugs do not represent the wider Causeway Coast and Glens community. PSNI Constable Gillen said: "The incident is being treated as a sectarian hate crime, and I would appeal to anyone who has any information about the incident, or who saw any suspicious activity in the area to contact officers in Limavady on 101 quoting reference number 275 of 31/07/18. "Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime.

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