Belfast Telegraph

Police treating paint attack at Catholic church as hate crime

The scene Scared Heart Church on the Doak Road in Ballyclare, Co. Antrim, which was attack with paint. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
The scene Scared Heart Church on the Doak Road in Ballyclare, Co. Antrim, which was attack with paint. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Sacred Heart Church in Ballyclare after the paint attack.

A paint attack on a Catholic Church in Co Antrim is being investigated by police as a hate crime.

At some point overnight a number of paint bombs were thrown at Sacred Heart Church in Ballyclare.

The PSNI, posting on Facebook, said: "Any right minded person can see the pain and anguish that this would cause.

"Officers in Newtownabbey are interested to hear from anyone who saw or heard anything suspicious in the area of the Doagh Road overnight.

"Did you see anyone acting suspiciously? Do you have any information about those involved?

"Were you driving past this church last night? Do you have dash cam footage? Please call us on non-emergency number 101, quoting reference 438 21/04/2019."

In a joint statement, Ulster Unionist Party representatives, including the South Antrim MLA, Dr Steve Aiken OBE, and all Ulster Unionist Antrim and Newtownabbey councillors and candidates, said: “We are totally disgusted at what has happened at a place of worship. Desecration is a disgusting act at any time of the year but at Easter it is even more poignant.

“We are all really angry that people would target their catholic neighbours’ sacred place of worship in this despicable way.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with those parishioners who will feel deeply hurt at these actions and we assure them all, the bigoted thugs who did this do not represent the people of our great Borough.”

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