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Fury over assault on nun (70) by thugs

Friends and neighbours of an elderly nun who was attacked and bitten by carjackers said the terrifying incident has left the close-knit community in shock and fear.

Sister Mary Carlin (70) was set upon by two thugs who knocked her to the ground outside her home at Kansas Avenue in Belfast on Saturday morning during an attempt to steal her car.

She was bitten on the thumb by the thugs.

Sr Mary had only returned home the night before after spending a few days with friends and family celebrating her 70th birthday on her native Rathlin Island.

Sr Mary is attached to St Patrick's Church in north Belfast.

It has also emerged that her stolen handbag contained her Passionist emblem – a gift she received when she entered the order as a novice almost 50 years ago.

One parishioner said she was saddened to hear the nun had been attacked.

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"Sister Mary is a lovely woman and does a lot of work for this parish," she said.

The elderly nun was taken to hospital for treatment but was released a short time later.

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