Northern Ireland news

Police launch investigation after 'disgraceful and offensive graffiti' daubed on Catholic church

Police have launched an investigation. Picture by Pacemaker
Marie Louise McConville

POLICE are treating an attack on a Catholic church in Limavady as a hate crime.

Sectarian slogans - including UVF, UDA and KAT (Kill all Taigs) - were daubed on the doors, walls and a crucifix in the grounds of St Mary's Church some time overnight on Saturday.

It is not the first time the church has been targeted.

DUP MP for the area Gregory Campbell said there had been a similar attack two years ago and "now an equally unacceptable repeat has occurred".

"Daubing sectarian graffiti on any vhurch property is not just insulting but contributes to creating problems in local communities," he said.

The East Derry representative said he believed the attack may be linked to "wider political tensions".

Police are investigating the graffiti daubed outside the church. Picture by Pacemaker

"Whether that is the case or not all public representatives have a duty to condemn any such behaviour, irrespective of where it occurs and against whom," he said.

"The government also has a duty to take appropriate steps to help de-escalate rising tensions whether connected to this or not."

Sinn Féin MLACaoimhe Archibald called for those responsible to be "brought to book".

"Parishioners and locals are disgusted by this disgraceful and offensive graffiti, which is nothing more than blatant sectarian vandalism," the East Derry assembly member said.

Police have launched an investigation after sectarian graffiti was daubed on St Mary's Chapel in Limavady. Picture by Pacemaker

"I have spoken to the police who have confirmed they are investigating this incident as a sectarian hate crime and I would call on anyone with any information to bring it forward."

SDLP MLA Justin McNulty said it was time for "calm heads and for leadership to step up".

"The sectarian smears on St Mary's church in Limavady are disgusting, abhorrent and just plain wrong," he said.

"We've come too far and this nonsense must stop now.

"Calmness and spirit of working together for the greater good must prevail."

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