IRA slogans daubed on church and hall

Published: 31 Jan 2013 14:000 comments

COMMUNITIES in Lisnarick and Irvinestown are counting the cost of vandalism caused to a church and Orange Hall over the course of the last week.

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The "terrorist-related" slogans graffitied on Castle Archdale Church at Lisnarick and Tedd Hall, Irvinestown are expected to be "extremely costly" to remove.

Described as "clearly sectarian and deeply offensive" the graffiti was sprayed on the door and walls of St Patrick's Church of Ireland.

Similarly, slogans such as 'tramps', 'scum' and 'up the IRA' were also graffitied on a wall of Tedd Orange Hall.

It's not the first time that the hall has been targeted in this manner.

Also serving as a community hall for the area, it has been attacked on several occasions in recent years, prompting members of Tedd Lodge LOL 355 to invest in shutters for the windows of the property to protect them from being smashed.

Past Master of Tedd Lodge, Robin Kearns, says the local community has become increasingly frustrated that the property continues to be targeted, particularly since it has been recently refurbished.

"I have lost count of the number of times this has happened now," he told The Impartial Reporter, "People here are really fed up about it, particularly now because it is more or less a community hall now, it is there for everyone. It holds birthday parties and various community events. People of all denominations use it for all sorts of things -- it's not doing anyone a bit of harm."

While Canon Glenn West declined to comment this week on the vandalism caused to St Patrick's Church. MLA Tom Elliott has hit out at those responsible. "Clearly those responsible set out with the express aim of causing as much hurt as they could by putting sectarian, terrorist-related slogans about the IRA around the porch of a place of worship. It's a deeply offensive and incredibly intolerant action."

The Ulster Unionist representative urged the local congregation not to be deterred from continuing "the valuable work of the church". "I hope that the vast majority of residents that live in the area around the church, regardless of their faith, will join together in their condemnation of this incident and not allow blatant sectarianism and hatred to hold the area back," he added.

It is believed the vandalism caused to Castle Archdale Church occurred some time between 12pm on Sunday, January 20 and 3pm on Thursday, January 24.

Police are appealing for anyone with information to contact them on 0845 600 8000 or to telephone Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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