Republic of Ireland news

Attacked Galway Mosque committed to rooting out extremism

Ed Carty, Press Association

The imam of a mosque in Ireland which was attacked by stone throwers on Monday night has said he is committed to weeding out extremists.

One window in the Masjid Maryam mosque in Galway was smashed as about 100 people gathered for prayers for Ramadan at 11pm on Monday night.

In the wake of the London attacks Imam Ibrahim Ahmad Noonan had called for all imams to be vetted by authorities, including background checks and for potential links to extremism.

But he also said there is an onus on imams to be more proactive in checking members of their congregations for extremist leanings.

"I'm committed to rooting out extremism in Ireland. I'm committed to it. This is my country. I'm not going to allow these people to get seeded into this country," Mr Ahmad Noonan said.

Two males, believed to be in their late teens or early 20s, were seen running from the Mosque following the stone throwing.

Gardai are examining CCTV footage of the attack.

The Iman, who was born in Waterford, raised Catholic and converted to Islam 26 years ago, said he is considering asking some women and children to stay away from the mosque for a few days for safety reasons.

"Everyone was quite shaken, including myself, and quite upset that it happened while we were praying, especially the ladies and children," he said.

"It's a kind of realisation - we all linked this to what happened in London."

A Garda spokesman said the incident was being investigated as a case of criminal damage.

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Republic of Ireland news