Two Northern Ireland Catholic Churches targeted with anti-abortion graffiti
Two Catholic Churches in Northern Ireland have been daubed with anti-abortion graffiti in the run up to a referendum on the issue in the Republic.
Carrickmore Chapel in Co Tyrone and St Patrick's Cathedral in Co Armagh were both targeted by vandals.
The graffiti in both attacks explicitly mentioned Sinn Fein and their support for repealing the Eighth Amendment of the Irish Constitution, which, with conditions, affords equal protections to the mother and the unborn child.
Carrickmore Chapel is the local place of worship for Sinn Fein's candidate in the upcoming West-Tyrone by-election Orfhlaith Begley.
The Carrickmore Chapel wall was daubed with graffiti saying "Begley, S.F Irish Baby Killer" while St Patrick's Cathedral was targeted with a number of messages including "The New Reformation Is Here", "Save the 8th, Save Ireland" and "Sinn Fein Irish Baby Killers, Speak Up".
Orfhlaith Begley condemned the attack on Carrickmore Chapel.
“First and foremost this is a sectarian hate crime and those responsible should be brought to book," she said.
“This disgraceful graffiti attack on Carrickmore Chapel is the second such attack on a church property in 24 hours.
“I have visited Carrickmore Chapel this morning, I have spoken to Father O’Neill and parishioners and people are incensed by this blatant sectarian vandalism.
“Anyone with any information on this hate crime should bring it forward to the PSNI.”
Police have confirmed they received a report of criminal damage in the Creggan Road area of Carrickmore at 8.47am on Tuesday April 24.
It is believed the incident occurred sometime between 9.40pm on April 23 and 8.05am on April 24.
They also confirmed police are investigating a report of criminal damage on the Cathedral Road in Armagh sometime between 11pm on April 22 and 8am on Monday April 23.
Enquiries into both incidents are ongoing.
Citizens in the Republic of Ireland will be asked on May 25 whether they want to repeal the Eighth Amendment of Ireland’s Constitution, a provision that makes abortion illegal in all but exceptional circumstances.
If the public votes to repeal the constitutional provision, the Irish Government intends to table legislation that would permit abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
Belfast Telegraph Digital