Belfast Telegraph

Priest chased down Northern Ireland street by drunk

Fr Roland Colhoun
Fr Roland Colhoun
Donna Deeney

By Donna Deeney

People in a Co Tyrone parish have been left disgusted at an attack on their priest, who was forced to flee down a street while being chased by a drunken man.

Fr Roland Colhoun of Ardstraw East and Newtownstewart parish was pursued by the heavily intoxicated man who is understood to be from the local Traveller community.

A resident captured the extraordinary incident on his mobile phone, showing Fr Colhoun running down the street in Newtownstewart seconds before the man shouts at him.

The Ulster Herald reported that the man was understood to have been drinking for quite some time last Friday and had been making a nuisance of himself before Fr Colhoun tried to intervene.

Sinn Fein councillor Kieran McGuire said people were upset about what had happened.

"People are shocked and a bit disgusted about what happened to Fr Colhoun," he said.

"I think this happened last weekend when Travellers came in for the first communion on Saturday.

"Some of the Travellers in Newtownstewart have children in the local primary school and they were making their first communion. This man was running around all day making a bit of a nuisance of himself and Fr Colhoun went up to the caravan to him and that was the reaction he got.

"To be fair, the rest of the Travellers didn't bother with this man all day.

"He was acting on his own, it wasn't as if there was a whole drinking session.

"This man was on his own. Fr Colhoun tried to bless this man's camper van, but he was having none of it.

"No matter what your religious belief, no man of the cloth should have been treated in this way."

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