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19/10/2021

County Derry church vandalised

Sectarian slogans were daubed on the church last night.

County Derry church vandalised

There has been widespread condemnation after sectarian graffiti was discovered at a Catholic church in County Derry on Sunday morning.

Initials of loyalist paramilitary groups UFF (Ulster Freedom Fighters), UDA (Ulster Defence Association) and UVF (Ulster Volunteer Force) were daubed on the door and walls of the building.

A sectarian message was also painted on a nearby crucifix during the incident.

Limavady councillor Brenda Chivers said the attack was 'shameful'.

“This was a shameful attack which I condemn outright,” she said.

“This graffiti is utterly disgraceful and offensive. I have spoken to the Monsignor and offered my support to him and the parishioners.

“There is no place for such mindless sectarian vandalism. It needs to stop immediately and anyone with information should bring it forward to the police.”

Fellow councillor, Ashleen Schenning, said it was 'outrageous' that anyone should target the church.

“This is a place of worship which people visit to pray and reflect on the Christian message,” she said.

“It is served by Monsignor McCanny, an outstanding parish priest who is loved and respected by people from all denominations.

“The people who did this represent no one but have the potential to send out the wrong message that Limavady is a place where this kind of behaviour is acceptable.

“It is not.”

'KAT', short for 'Kill All Taigs' was daubed on a nearby crucifix on the church grounds.

A spokesperson the DUP in Limavady said those who carried out the attack did not do so 'in the name of unionism in Limavady'.

“There can never be any justification for attacking a place of worship in any way and such attacks cannot be justified,” they said.

“The graffiti attack on a local chapel was a disgusting and a distressing act regardless of the denomination attacked.

“If anyone can identify the individuals, we urge them to go to the police so the individuals who perpetrated this act can be apprehended.”

Police have confirmed they are treating the latest incident at the church, was was subject to a similar attack in 2018, as a sectarian hate crime.

“Police are appealing for information following a report of sectarian graffiti being daubed on a church in Irish Green Street in Limavady,” said a PSNI spokesperson.

“The incident was reported at around 9.40 this morning (Sunday 31st January). However, it is believed to have happened sometime overnight. Police are treating this incident as a hate crime.

“Enquiries are continuing and I would appeal to anyone with any information about this incident to contact police on 101, quoting reference number 31/01/21.

“A report can be made using the online reporting form and information can also be provided to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.”

RELATED: Police issue details of church vandalism suspect

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