Belfast Telegraph

PSNI treat Harryville paint attack as ‘hate crime’

A priest has spoken of his hope that sectarian attitudes in Ballymena will soften after the town’s beleaguered Harryville Catholic Church was attacked with paint.

Police are treating the incident at the Church of Our Lady on the Larne Road — which has been the target of countless sectarian attacks over many years — as a hate crime after it was reported over the weekend.

A tin of white oil based paint was thrown at the front of the church, landing on its steps, some time between Saturday evening and Sunday morning when it was reported to the PSNI.

Parish priest Father Patrick Delargy said the incident was the latest in a number of attacks over the last month alone.

“We have had cans, stones and bottles thrown at the church, which we continue to clear up,” he said.

“I was in east Belfast for seven years and saw attitudes change there. I have been in Ballymena for about nine months now and have noticed that certain parts of the town are slow to change inherited behaviour. My hope for the future is that attitudes will soften and people will behave in a reasonable manner.”

Belfast Telegraph

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