Irish Republican News · November 19, 2016
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Retired priest’s home attacked


A popular Catholic priest may be forced out of his parochial house in Fermanagh after it was targeted in a sectarian attack.

Fr Joe McVeigh returned to Tattygar House in Lisbellaw in Fermanagh on Sunday evening to find windows smashed in by loyalists. Around a thousand pounds worth of damage was caused. The building sits next to a primary school in a mainly unionist area of Fermanagh, and was previously attacked around 20 years ago by loyalists.

Fr McVeigh, who at 70 years old is semi-retired, said he does not want to leave but may need extra security. He had been visiting the home of a cousin who had died before attending a second wake house in Enniskillen and only discovered the damage when he returned home just after 8.30pm on Sunday.

“When I drove up I noticed one of the windows smashed and immediately thought there had been a burglary, but then I noticed two other windows had been smashed as well and there was nothing disturbed in the house,” he said.

“They’re quite tough windows, they’re double glazed and would take a bit of force to break and there were no bricks or anything lying about. Whoever was responsible must have come armed with something - police thought maybe a baseball bat or a crow bar.”

He said although the house was attacked previously he had not received any recent threats.

“However, I am known to be outspoken and have been quite public around the Brexit campaign on the remain side,” he said. “It was Remembrance Sunday and there were a lot of people out and about, but who knows what’s in these people’s minds,” he said.

“It’s not a nice thing to happen and it would worry you of course, but I don’t want to move. I will have to look at getting some added security around the house though”.

Sinn Fein Assembly member Barry McElduff, a friend of Fr McVeigh, said the popular priest had the “good wishes and prayers” of many people.

“Fr McVeigh has been a champion of human rights and social justice for decades and has many, many friends both across Ireland and as far away as the United States where his work on social issues is well known.

“While this is a terrible thing to have happened, I’ve spoken to him and he is aware that he has the support of many people.”


Loyalists are also being blamed for an increase in hate crimes on immigrants since the Brexit referendum.

A door panel window was smashed on Tuesday night in the latest incident at the Ballysillan home of Cleo and Memet Enriquez, who live with their 15-year-old daughter and eight-year-old son.

The Filipino family say the attack - in which the house was pelted with stones - was the seventh such incident in the space of four weeks, including Halloween, when fireworks were thrown at the property.

They have pleaded for those behind the intimidation to stop.

“This is frightening for our children, and upsetting for us as parents,” they said.

“It is constantly happening, and they are throwing everything from eggs to stones, and snowballs in winter. At Halloween they threw fireworks into the driveway and even stole our pumpkin.

“We’ve worked hard and have almost paid off our mortgage so we don’t want to have to move. Why should we have to because some people don’t want us here?”

They praised neighbours for rallying around the family in the face of the intimidation, adding: “We have tolerated this as long as we can, but when is it going to stop? It’s not fair - we don’t deserve this.”

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© 2016 Irish Republican News