Northern Ireland news

Thieves ransack Newtownhamilton church

A parishioner looks at the damage to a stain glass window at St Michael's Church, Newtownhamilton, Armagh. Picture by Ann McManus.

THIEVES who ransacked a Co Armagh Church have been described as "despicable".

A stained glass window was smashed and items including vacuum cleaners stolen during the incident at St Michael's Church on the Dundalk Road area of Newtownhamilton.

Detectives believe that entry was gained to the property sometime between 8.30pm on Saturday and 9am on Sunday, when the damage was discovered.

Constable Tim Coombs has made an appeal to anyone who witnessed anything suspicious in the area, to contact police in Newtownhamilton.

"The church was ransacked and a number of vacuum cleaners were taken", he said.

"A stained glass window was also smashed during the incident.

"We would also be interested in any dashcam footage showing vehicles parked in the layby close to the church on the Dundalk Road," he added.

Slieve Gullion, Sinn Féin councillor Barra Ó Muirí said that the robbery was a "despicable act".


"This is extremely upsetting for not only parishioners but everyone", said Mr Ó Muirí.


"An attack on St Michaels is viewed by most as an attack on the whole community.

"Those engaged in this type of criminal activity need to be apprehended and be brought before the courts. Anyone with information should contact the PSNI immediately".

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