POLITICIANS in Northern Ireland have condemned a sectarian attack that saw a Catholic church daubed with paramilitary graffiti.
Vandals painted ‘UDA’ and ‘UVF’ on the walls and doors of St Mary’s in Limavady, Co. Derry and also damaged a statue of Jesus.
A parishioner discovered the graffiti at St Mary’s in Limavady, Co. Derry this morning, reports BBC News NI.
At the weekend a Presbyterian church in Co. Antrim was attacked with white paint, while a Tricolour was nailed to a memorial in Co. Armagh for the victims of the Kingsmill massacre.
— Dean McLaughlin (@Dean_Journalist) July 31, 2018
Politicians have condemned the latest attack, which Sinn Féin MLA Caoimhe Archibald branded ‘a hate crime’.
“First and foremost, this is a sectarian hate crime and those responsible should be brought to book,” she said.
“Parishioners and locals are incensed by this disgraceful graffiti attack on St Mary’s Chapel, which is nothing more than blatant sectarian vandalism.
— Dean McLaughlin (@Dean_Journalist) 31 July 2018
“This attack comes after an increase in the numbers of paramilitary flags being flown and a surge in kerb painting in the town.
“I would urge all elected and community leaders within unionism to show leadership in order to bring an end to the tensions in the area caused by marking territory in this way.
“I would call on anyone with any information on this hate crime to bring it forward to the PSNI.”
Meanwhile Daryll Wilson UUP Councillor for Ballymoney, branded the perpetrators ‘mindless thugs’.
“Saddened & angered to see another attack on a community building within my Borough,” he wrote on Twitter.
“St Mary’s (Limavady) was defaced by mindless thugs who do not represent the wider community.
“I would urge those behind the recent spate of attacks across the Borough to wise up and disappear!”
SDLP East Derry MLA John Dallat also condemned the attack, urging anyone with information to contact the police.
“There is absolutely no place for sectarian graffiti in our society, let alone on the walls and doors of a Church,” he said.
“This is an act of vandalism and is completely unacceptable.
“I utterly condemn those behind this, and they should be ashamed of their actions.
“They do not represent the people of East Derry and it will not be tolerated.
“I would appeal to anyone who has any information to bring it to the Police or Crimestoppers as soon as possible.”
The PSNI have said they are treating the incident as a sectarian hate crime.