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Pro-IRA slogans are daubed on church and care home

By Cate McCurry

Published 21/06/2016

A residential home and a church were among several buildings spray-painted with sectarian graffiti in west Belfast
A residential home and a church were among several buildings spray-painted with sectarian graffiti in west Belfast

A care home and a church were among several buildings spray-painted with sectarian graffiti in west Belfast.

Cairnmartin Court, which specialises in caring for people with dementia, and the Church of Ireland in Ballygomartin were painted with IRA slogans. Homes in the area were also daubed with graffiti.

Police are treating the attack, which happened early on Sunday, as a hate crime.

Local DUP councillor Frank McCoubrey said locals were horrified by the incident.

"People's horror quite quickly turned to anger when they saw the graffiti sprayed around the church and the nursing home, which was only built three years ago," he added.

"This is a community that is right on the edge of an interface and it suffered for so many years, but these last 10 years there hasn't been a stone thrown in anger.

"People were so shattered when they saw the damage caused to properties and the church and nursing home."

Local SDLP MLA Alex Attwood said the attack was an attempt to raise tensions.

The politician added: "Those who cling to the past and attempt to hold our communities back must be challenged. I would urge everyone to cooperate with the police investigation."

Inspector Kelly Moore said: "Officers from both the neighbourhood policing team and the local policing team have been in the area this morning to help with the investigation and to offer their reassurances to local people. We have also spoken with local representatives."

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