Attack on Catholic church was work of ‘mindless thugs’

The damage caused by the latest paint bomb attack at St Mary's Star of the Sea Church. INNT 42-003-FP
The damage caused by the latest paint bomb attack at St Mary's Star of the Sea Church. INNT 42-003-FP
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Sectarian vandals who attacked St Mary’s Star of the Sea Church in Whitehouse at the weekend have been branded “mindless thugs”.

Sometime overnight on Saturday (October 12), paint bombs were thrown at the historic building, leaving white paint splashed around a doorway.

This was the latest in a series of attacks at the church over the past nine months.

Parish priest, Fr Anthony Alexander said the clean-up after last month’s petrol bomb and paint attack had only just been completed, and he described the latest incident as “senseless”.

Voicing his condemnation, North Belfast MP Nigel Dodds said: “These attacks are the actions of mindless thugs. It is depressing that there have been a series of attacks against this church. The message must go out loud and clear to whoever is responsible that their despicable crimes bring only revulsion against themselves and shame on whatever purpose they seek to advance.

“There can be no justification whatsoever for any attacks against any place of worship or any place of religious or cultural identity.”

Councillor Billy Webb described the incident as “extremely saddening”.

“This is not the first time St Mary’s Star of the Sea has become a target and this ongoing campaign is causing undue stress for the parish priest, the parishioners and those of all faiths in the surrounding area.

“This type of behaviour must not be allowed to continue and I would urge anyone with information on those behind these attacks to contact the PSNI,” he said.

Local UUP councillor, John Scott added: “In a free society people should be able to attend their place of worship free from fear, intimidation or obstruction. Those who committed this crime are obviously opposed to a free and open society and must be condemned.”

Investigating officers, who it’s understood have recovered CCTV footage of the incident, can be contacted on 0845 600 8000.