Belfast Telegraph

Suspected sectarian attack on historic buildings

By George Jackson

Three of Londonderry's most historic buildings have been damaged by paint thrown at them in the early hours of yesterday morning.

The suspected sectarian attack comes after the city hosted a successful flagship Twelfth parade.

Unlike Belfast, the loyal orders in Derry have been held up as a model of how to reach local accommodation on marches in the mainly nationalist city.

Two of the buildings attacked were churches and all of them are linked to the city's Protestant heritage.

St Augustine's Church of Ireland church, which was built in 1872 and which contains 164 graves dating back to 1609, had paint splashed over the entrance to the building from the city walls.

Less than 50 yards away, also on the city walls, is the Apprentice Boys of Derry Memorial Hall, which was built in 1873.

It also sustained paint damage to its wall overlooking the Bogside area of the city.

Next door to the Memorial Hall the First Derry Presbyterian Church which was built in 1780, also had paint bombs thrown at its front wall.

Workmen were at all three buildings throughout yesterday attempting to remove the paint as well as trying to remove paint splashed on the walls and on the road between the walls and the damaged buildings.

The First Derry congregation, led by Rev David Latimer, has been involved in many high-profile cross-community initiatives.

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