Belfast Telegraph

Belfast church and care home targeted in sectarian graffiti attack

Councillor says attack an attempt to heighten tensions ahead of parades

A Belfast church and care home have been targeted in a sectarian graffiti attack.

'IRA' and 'KAH' were scrawled on St Columba’s Church and a care home facility on the Ballygomartin Road sometime overnight into Monday morning.

A number of homes in the area were also attacked.

West Belfast DUP Councillor Frank McCoubrey condemned the attack.

He said: "This is a disgraceful sectarian attack which has damaged the local Church of Ireland, residents homes and sheltered accommodation.

"This is a settled area with long-term residents and there is no history of such attacks. It would appear to be an attempt by some people to ratchet up tensions ahead of the Whiterock parade and other upcoming parades.

"I have been in the area this morning and I know the PSNI have spoken to residents and are pursuing a line of inquiry. This disgraceful attack is to be condemned and I would hope there would be no tit-for-tat response which is what those who carried it out clearly want to see.

"I hope the police can identify those responsible and bring them swiftly to justice."

Police are investigating.

Inspector Kelly Moore said: “We are treating this as a sectarian hate crime and extensive enquiries are already underway.

“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 reassurance to local people.  We have also spoken with local representatives.

“Enquiries will include reviewing CCTV in the area and I would appeal to anyone who witnessed any suspicious activity in the area overnight, or who has any information that could assist in this investigation, to contact police on the non-emergency 101 quoting reference 192 of 20th June.

“Alternatively, information can also be given anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

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