A MOSQUE in Galway has been vandalised for the second time since it opened five years ago.
Galway's Maryam Mosque was attacked in the early hours of Monday, 29 July, when several people broke in, shattered windows, smashed up the office of the Imam and stole security camera gear.
It is being treated as a hate crime.
Gardaí investigate attack on mosque on Old Monivea Rd Galway. Second time in 2 yrs @rtenews #mosque pic.twitter.com/gWjQYYCS0b
— Teresa Mannion (@TeresaMannion) July 29, 2019
Though frightening, it did not come as much of a surprise to the leader of the mosque, Waterford man Imam Noonan: he claims he received an anonymous phonecall several months ago from a person claiming to be affiliated with a known far-right group. The caller promised that an attack was being planned for the mosque, and that Imam Noonan himself would also be assaulted.
The caller made reference to two different far-right groups, and according to The Irish Times, also mentioned the name of a certain notorious UK far-right activist.
Gardaí in Galway are investigating all avenues that might bring the perpetrators to justice, including the references made by the caller and the names of people who have previously sent threats and Islamophobic abuse towards the mosque on social media such as Facebook.
This is the second attack on the mosque since it was opened in 2014.
In 2017, the windows of the mosque were again smashed during evening prayers, where around 100 people were praying inside.
There are thought to be around 200 Ahmadiyya Muslims living in Galway city.
A lot of damage has been done to #GalwayMosque pic.twitter.com/syw0oQrhiM
— Yusuf Pender (@ClareConvert) July 29, 2019
Bishop of Galway, Brendan Kelly, spoke to FYI Galway regarding the attacks, and called it a “willful and malicious assault”. He went on to say he would be visiting his “good friend” Imam Noonan to “convey to him the very deep sense of outrage felt across the community”.
And it is being felt—the people of Galway must be disgusted to have this hate crime tied to their city, which is usually known for being one of the friendliest places in the world.
The Garda investigation continues.