Northern Ireland news

Elderly priest extinguished blaze after youths set fire to pamphlets in Dominican church in Newry

St Catherine's Dominican Church in Newry

A NEWRY councillor has hit out at arsonists who targeted a Catholic church forcing an elderly priest to extinguish a blaze after youths set fire to booklets.

Religious books and pamphlets were set alight on Monday at St Catherine’s Dominican Chuch in the city with witnesses reporting youths running from the scene.

The fire was put out by the elderly head priest of the religious order on Dominic Street.

Independent councillor Gavin Malone said:

“Just when we think we have heard it all when it comes to anti social behaviour we plunge to new depths.

“On Sunday, three youths were seen running away from St Catherine’s Dominican Church and it transpired that they had set fire to the religious booklets at the rear of the church.

“The Prior, Fr David Tohill was on hand and quickly extinguished the blaze before it developed into something more serious.

“This begs the question, where are we going? Is nothing sacred anymore?

“The Dominican community in Newry are elderly men and are held in very high esteem by the people of Newry.

Describing the attack as "sacrilegious and mindless" the councillor appealed to youths to desist from their activities before there are serious consequences.

“I extend my sincere apologies to Fr David and the Dominican community and assure them of our support and vigilance and hopefully we will not see a repeat of this cowardly behaviour," he added.

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