Flickers of Hope as churches remain in the firing line


Another sectarian attack on a church, this time in east Antrim, where loyalists have made a concerted effort to intimidate the local catholic populace in recent times.

On this occasion, the target was the catholic parishioners of Whitehead, though in the more recent past it has been the small catholic communities of Carrickfergus, Greenisland and Ballyclare who have bore the brunt of the sectarian antics of loyalists in the overwhelmingly unionist region. Catholic schools and churches in each of the towns have been specifically targeted by flag protestors, with Union Flags pinned to the railings of St Colman’s Catholic Church in Greenisland and large Union Flags erected at the entrance to both it and St Nicholas’ Church in Carrickfergus, where there was also the council invasion by loyalists who dished out sectarian abuse to the unsuspecting councillors (worth noting that both catholic churches have been rebuilt in the post-ceasefire era following sectarian arson attacks.)

On a much more positive note, it was heartening to hear that members of Townland Amateur Boxing Club in Glenavy were joined by the local Sinn Fein representative last Friday as they organized and took part in a clean up of the grounds of the village Church of Ireland church, St Aidan’s, which was itself targeted by sectarian vandals intent on intimidating and spreading fear amongst a small minority protestant community in the south west Antrim community.