Northern Ireland

Orange Order in Scotland condemns attack on priest who was 'spat on' during parade

Abused: Canon Tom White
Abused: Canon Tom White Abused: Canon Tom White

ORANGE Order leaders have branded an attack on a priest in Glasgow during a annual lodge parade as a "bigoted action".

Canon Tom White was allegedly spat at in the eye and on the back of his head outside St Alphonsus church as the Boyne parade made its way through the city centre on Saturday afternoon.

Sectarian abuse was also hurled at the priest as he greeted parishoners, according to the Archdiocese of Glasgow.

A spokesman for the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland said none if its members were responsible and condemned the incident outright.

"We understand that abusive comments were directed at a local priest from a group of young men who were not part of the parade. We can confirm that no members of the parade were involved in this or any of the reported incidents," he said.

"The Orange Order is founded on the principle of religious liberty and respect for people of all faiths."

"We totally condemn the bigoted actions of those involved and hope that they are dealt with to the full extent of the law. We would welcome the opportunity to work with Police Scotland to identify those responsible."

In a statement on Facebook, the Archdiocese said that both Canon White and his parishioners had been "subjected to vile abuse".

"He was then further insulted and lunged at by a man carrying a pole before police arrived to restore some kind of order," the post said.

Police are investigating the incident.