Ballyclare church has wall ripped out in latest attack
The Minister of Ballyclare Free Presbyterian Church hopes to see an end to the anti-social behaviour plaguing the church after its hall was damaged.
A large section of the church hall's wooden wall was ripped out in the latest attack on church property by youths between Thursday and Friday.
Last Christmas, a number of the church's windows were smashed in a separate incident.
The latest attack comes after it was revealed that 445 crimes were recorded as criminal damage to religious buildings, churchyards or cemeteries across Northern Ireland's 11 policing districts in the last three years.
White paint was also thrown at Sacred Heart Church in Ballyclare on Easter Sunday this year.
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, Rev Noel Hughes explained that a number of youths have been congregating in old outbuildings adjacent to the church, while the attacks have gone on for the last two years.
He said: “Our view from the church is that we want the problem sorted out.
“We don't want young people getting into any bother, we don't want to them to get a criminal record at that age and we don't want them getting into trouble.
“Certainly, we don't want them getting injured but I feel that unless something is done urgently then we are going to be looking at a much more serious situation if it's not addressed speedily.”
The damage to the church hall was reported to the PSNI on Friday evening.
Belfast Telegraph Digital