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Minister 'dismayed' after Co Tyrone church hall attacked

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A smashed window at the church hall in Brantry, Co Tyrone

A smashed window at the church hall in Brantry, Co Tyrone

A smashed window at the church hall in Brantry, Co Tyrone

A Co Tyrone minister has told how he and his parishioners have been left greatly dismayed by vandalism carried out at one of their buildings.

The Church of Ireland property at Brantry Road, near Dungannon, was attacked on Wednesday afternoon.

Windows were smashed and a pool table damaged inside the old church hall, which the parish uses mostly for storage since it opened its new hall.

Rev Bill Atkins said: "We have been dismayed that this has happened when we are in the midst of an international crisis.

"When you consider everything they need to do right now, it seems like an awful waste of their time."

Local Ulster Unionist MLA Rosemary Barton described those behind the vandalism as "thugs".

She added: "To destroy church property at any time is an act of wanton destruction, but to do so to a small rural Church of Ireland parish property at a time of health crisis when the majority of the community in Northern Ireland are trying to work together is a sickening action.

"I had hoped that people had matured enough after decades of murder and destruction in our society to not be involved in such destructive activity."

A PSNI spokesman said entry is thought to have been gained through a window. He appealed for anyone with information on the incident to contact police on 101, quoting reference number 2008 15/04/20.

Belfast Telegraph