Vandals who desecrated a statue of the Virgin Mary have been condemned.
The attackers are believed to have used black paint during the attack outside the Church of Saint Mary in Maghera, in the early hours of Saturday morning.
During the incident the statue’s face and hands were covered in a thick coat of spray paint. A number of occult symbols were also painted on the church.
Maghera parish priest Fr Seamus O’Connell condemned those behind the attacks.
Sinn Fein councillor Sean Kerr said the whole community is shocked by the incident.
He said: “I’m almost lost for words, that there is someone in the community that would stoop so low to do something like this. It’s not just an attack on the chapel but on the entire community. This has upset so many people that there are people in this community, or wherever they are from, who are capable of this.”
SDLP councillor Kate Lagan voiced her disgust at the attack.
She said: “It’s disgraceful that people would desecrate a statue. Disrespect for other people’s religion is unacceptable and to defile a statue is disgusting and if anybody knows anything about it they should come forward and tell the police.”