Investigation launched after priest 'spat on' during Orange walk in Glasgow

Investigation launched after priest 'spat on' during Orange walk in Glasgow

POLICE in Scotland have launched an investigation after a priest was spat on during a demonstration by the Orange Order in Glasgow over the weekend.

Canon Tom White was speaking to parishioners outside St Alphonsus Church in Glasgow on Saturday afternoon when he was spat on twice.

In a statement on Facebook, the Archdiocese said that both Canon White and his parishioners had been "subjected to vile abuse".

It claimed: "The priest was spat upon. Spittle landed on the back of his head.

"He wiped it away. Another mouthful of thick spittle was spat into his eye socket.

"Again he wiped it away leaving his hand full of the vile liquid.

"He was then further insulted and lunged at by a man carrying a pole before police arrived to restore some kind of order."

A spokesman for the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland said: "We have been made aware of an incident outside of St Alphonsus Church in Glasgow late on Saturday afternoon whilst an Orange parade was passing by.

"We understand that abusive comments were directed at a local priest from a group of young men who were not part of the parade. We can confirm that no members of the parade were involved in this or any of the reported incidents.

"The Orange Order is founded on the principle of religious liberty and respect for people of all faiths.

"We totally condemn the bigoted actions of those involved and hope that they are dealt with to the full extent of the law. We would welcome the opportunity to work with Police Scotland to identify those responsible."

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: "We can confirm we are investigating the assault of a man outside a church at the Barras (area of Glasgow) around 16:20 on Saturday 7 July.

"He was not injured as a result of the assault and inquiries are ongoing."

The spokeswoman added: "Whilst the parade was passing the church at the time, any involvement, if at all, by someone from the Orange walk, is still to be established."