Belfast Telegraph

Youths as young as eight tormenting elderly nuns at Keady convent face demands to stop

St Clare’s Convent in Keady
St Clare’s Convent in Keady
SDLP councillor Thomas O’Hanlon
Brett Campbell

By Brett Campbell

A group of youths who have been terrorising elderly nuns in a Co Armagh convent have been urged to stop.

The Sisters in St Clare's Convent in Keady are being tormented by of a group of kids who appear in the early hours of the morning and thump windows and ring a large bell within the grounds.

"There are about four of them and one of them is as young as eight years old," one of the nuns said.

"They trespass on the grounds on their way to and from GAA training.

"I think their parents need to do more, but so does the GAA club they belong to - one of their rules prohibits members from bringing the club into disrepute."

Eight nuns aged in their 70s and 80s living in the convent have been left feeling frightened by the actions.

"We don't want to make a big thing out of this but they don't seem to care about the suffering they are causing," the distressed nun explained.

"It's just sheer mischief, but it went on for four hours one evening. The latest it happened was between 2am and 3am one morning. They should have been at home in bed."

SDLP councillor Thomas O'Hanlon has called on the culprits to stop after a nun chased them off the grounds on Tuesday night.

"Whilst some might think it's great craic, it's not," he warned.

Mr O'Hanlon also claimed that one of the youths was approached by a local resident who knew his identity.

"He had a few choice words with them and got a lovely mouthful back," he said.

The elected representative said at least one of the young people was sporting a local GAA top - there are a number of clubs in the surrounding area.

"I have spoken to a representative of the club and it'll be raised with coaches.

"Whilst the lads weren't representing their club with their antics, that's how they were identified.

"Those I have spoken to in the club are disgusted.

"I would appeal to those responsible to stop.

"How would you like an elderly relative of yours sitting in their home at night afraid?"

Mr O'Hanlon also urged parents to ensure they "know where your sons and daughters are" at night.

"This is not about being a spoilsport, there's plenty of things for people to do and facilities to use without terrorising people," he added.

"There are many, many great young people in our town, but as always, it only takes one or two."

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