Anti-Catholic graffiti on the rise


A Catholic church in Limavady has been the target of a disturbing hate crime.

Sectarian slogans - including UVF, UDA and KAT (Kill all Taigs) - were daubed on the doors, walls and a crucifix on a Catholic church in Limavady, County Derry overnight on Saturday.

St Mary’s Church has been targeted by sectarian graffiti on previous occasions.

Sinn Féin’s Caoimhe Archibald called for those responsible to be “brought to book”.

“Parishioners and locals are disgusted by this disgraceful and offensive graffiti, which is nothing more than blatant sectarian vandalism,” the East Derry assembly member said.

Local priest Monsignor Brian McCanny described the attack as “disappointing”. He said there was “a certain amount of distress that it should happen to a church building”.

“We know it’s not representative of any of the other church communities in Limavady,” he added.

Last week, a number of offensive and threatening graffiti messages appeared in connection with Brexit, but this appears to have broadened into general sectarian threats.

An anti-Irish language message in east Belfast was daubed under an advertising hoarding in the Castlereagh Road area in recent days.

The words “no Irish street signs in this area” accompanied by a cross-hair symbol comes weeks after Belfast City Council voted to relax the rules on dual language signage.

Sinn Féin Seanadóir Niall Ó Donnghaile condemned the graffiti as an attack on the Irish language “which must be condemned by all”.

“It is indicative of the attitude of some in society who show a complete disregard, lack of respect and hatred for an Irish identity,” he said.

“In Belfast, we now have one of the most progressive bilingual street-signage policies in the north for people who choose to have their street named in both Irish and English.

“No one has anything to fear from the Irish language - it is inclusive and it is thriving across Belfast and beyond.”

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