Church Watch: yes, another sectarian attack..

Thanks to TalkBack for covering a story which is so common it’s not making the news. St Columcille’s in East Belfast has suffered yet another attack – this time with some racist undertones. It’s one of those Catholic Churches, like St Bernard’s in Glengormley which get attacked so often, it never makes it to the news pages.

St Columcille’s in East Belfast has suffered yet another attack – this time with some racist undertones. It’s one of those Catholic Churches, like St Bernard’s in Glengormley which get attacked so often, it never makes it to the news pages.

But Catholic churches are not the only targets. The most disgraceful act of sacrilege that I can think of in the last thirty years was the slaughter of Protestant worshippers in Darkley. Ian Paisley’s church has been targeted in the past too.For some reason some people don’t think that Orange Halls are religious venues – yet these are attacked with almost monotonous repetitiveness.

For some reason some people don’t think that Orange Halls are religious venues – yet these are attacked with almost monotonous repetitiveness.

I’d like to ask readers to not engage in whataboutery, but to note as factually as you can (we reserve the right to cut any obvious political spin) attacks on any venue of religious worship. Perhaps that way we can begin to register the extent of the problem.

Consider this an open thread for contemporary and historical attacks. If it’s useful enough we may even open a wiki page on the subject!

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  • DK

    Harryville. Apparently the reason it was built where it was was that the owner of the land gave it to the church on condition that they built a chapel on it.

  • Mick Fealty

    Good start. Dates times frequency nature of attacks would be very useful.

  • susan

    Saint Anthony’s on the Woodstock Road in East Belfast has suffered numerous attacks. It has in recent years had orange paint thrown on the entrance, windows smashed and the entrance door set alight. It has long suffered from attacks and threats of all kinds. These are only the attacks I know about.

    susan

  • james orr

    Killicomaine Baptist Meeting House, Portadown.
    Had all of its windows broken on two consecutive weekends last autumn.

    Wooden portable Faith Mission hall was torched a few weeks ago near Ballymena

  • fair_deal

    33 Orange Halls attacked in the last year

  • Two Nations

    Well doing a search on the BBC NEWS Northern Ireland website for “church+attack” produces 871 hits. That is a search from 1997 to today.

    So unscientifically that averages out to be 97 attacks per year over the last 9 years.

  • In Keady during one month (September 2002),
    the COI Parish hall,the town’s Gospel Hall and the Presbyterian Church were all attacked.

  • woof mcdog

    Smearing excrement round a church and writing racial abuse on pictures drawn by kids.

    Does anyone actually collate info on attacks on churches or in general sectarian attacks?.

    I was told some time ago that the PSNI doesnt release stats on sectarian attacks – I wonder why.

  • Nathan

    A non-exhaustive list of attacks that I’ve come across, which involved venues of religious worship in the Irish Republic, and which were in direct contravention of Article 44.2.1 of Bunreacht na hÉireann:

    St Peters Church of Ireland, Drogheda – May 1999

    Church of Ireland rectory in Letterkenny, Co Donegal – Aug 2004

    St Mary’s Church of Ireland, Rathvilly, Co. Carlow – Aug 2002

    All Saint’s Roman Catholic Church, Newtowncunningham, Co. Donegal – May 2002

    St Peter’s Church of Ireland, Castletownbere, West Cork – June 2002

    St Michan’s Church of Ireland, Co. Dublin – July 7th and 8th, 1996.

    Coragarry Free Presbyterian church, Co. Monaghan – July 1999

    St Peter’s Church of Ireland, Donadea, Co. Kildare – July 18th 1998

    Christ Church, Celbridge, Co. Kildare – July 9th 1998

    St John’s Church of Ireland, Kill, Co. Kildare – June 16th 1998

    St Canice’s Church of Ireland, Finglas, Co. Dublin – Feb 1998

    Church of Ireland church in Rush Demesne, Co Dublin – July 1996

    Nathan

  • Fabulous Diva

    One of the most disgusting attacks on a church was that on St Agnes’ in Andersonstown a number of years ago. A coffin was in the church waiting for requiem mass the next day. The attackers knocked it off the trolley and defecated on the altar. Attackers were off their tits on drugs mind you, but still…..

  • Stephen Copeland

    Christ Church, Celbridge, Co. Kildare

    With respect to the 2.38 comment by Nathan:

    Christ Church in Celbridge is also C of I

    [posted by Stephen Copeland]

  • fair_deal

    woof mcdog

    “I was told some time ago that the PSNI doesnt release stats on sectarian attacks – I wonder why. ”

    The PSNI have started collating and releasing stats on sectarian attacks in the last year.

  • idunnomeself

    Whitehouse Presbyterian burnt to the ground a few years ago. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/4275459.stm

    All sorts of people vandalise churches, they’re public buildings and often their congregations aren’t local. St Annes was grafittied a month ago

    I also saw the paint on Woodstock chapel, not nice

  • Mick Fealty

    Links are good. Details are better.

  • George

    In a Commons written reply, the the Northern Ireland Minister of State, Mr Adam Ingram, released figures showing that in 1996, 52 churches were attacked; in 1997, 41; and to July 1998, 23.

    Eleven of these were attacked in the first three days of that month, following Drumcree.

    July 1998 seems to have been the high-water mark.

    Others to add to the list:

    St. Annes COI Church Shandon, Cork – The four-faced liar. A couple of years ago – small fire set at front door.

    Melmount RC Parish Church, Strabane, County Tyrone – March 2004. Stained Glass windows smashed.

    Presbyterian church on the Shore Road in north Belfast and the RC church nearby.

    Orange hall and church hall in Ballyroney, near Rathfriland damaged in 1999.

    George

  • Until June 2004 the PSNI didn’t class attacks as sectarian or racist.

  • George

    June, 2005
    Arson attack on St. John’s RC church, Portadown.

    July, 2005
    Harryville RC Church, Ballymena daubed with sectarian slogans.

    Arson attack on Holy Cross RC Church in Ardoyne

    Two further attacks in Ballymena on RC churches

    August, 2005:
    Harryville RC Church in Ballymena paintbombed

    Slogans daubed on St. Patrick’s RC Church in Lisburn

    Paint bomb attack on St. Mary’s RC Church, Ahoghill

  • yerman

    Three Orange Halls attacked in Magherafelt area: Aug 2005
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/4178206.stm

    Attacks on Orange Halls in West Tyrone, Jan 05
    http://www.rte.ie/news/2005/0108/tyrone.html
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/4150741.stm

    Whiterock Orange Hall attacked: October 05
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/4384970.stm

  • Slugger O’Toole Admin

    Sacristy of St. Mary’s Church in Cushendall substantially burned down. June 2000.

    St Marys church in Bushmills attacked. July 2000

    Moree Orange Hall near Pomeroy, attacked by a digger. January 2003

    Orange Hall on Causanagh Road, Loughgall , destroyed by arsonists. March 2003.

    St Mary’s on the Hill, Glengormley, daubed with paramilitary slogans. April 2003

    Whitewell Orange Hall, bomb attacked. October 2005

    Mick Fealty

  • Harry Flashman

    I seem to recall that in one night last year two church halls attached to protestant churches along the Derry to Moville road in County Donegal were burnt down.

    – Harry Flashman –

  • Slugger O’Toole Admin

    Was this it:

    http://www.buncrana.com/displayArticle.php?article_id=8

    For the purposes of this thread, links and basic facts are better than comment.

  • Mick Fealty

    Albert Bridge Congregational Church, Woodstock Link, stain glass windows broken. Not thought to be sectarian.

  • stan

    The attack on the church last night was vandalism so why include it on a thread titled

    Church Watch: yes, another sectarian attack..

    Just asking.

  • If these attack are becoming recent, why can’t they hire a guard or something for this, to avoid future attacks..

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  • Dan’s Breen Revolver

    24 posts and a dissapointingly low level of whataboutery.

    C’mon guys. I know you can do better