Church damaged in attack by vandals


A Co Tyrone parish priest said yesterday that he was considering installing security cameras in his church after the building was damaged by vandals in the early hours of yesterday morning.

Two reinforced plate glass doors and eight windows were smashed during the attack on Melmount Parish Church in Strabane. The damage was reported to Father Michael Doherty by parishioners who arrived for the 7.15 a.m. Mass yesterday. Despite the damage, the Mass was celebrated.

Father Doherty said following the attack he would discuss with his parishioners a "review of the church's openness and accessibility". He said it was clear from the damage that a determined effort had been made to inflict serious damage on the building.

"Because of the exposed position of the church here in Melmount, we have had some vandalism in the past which involved two or three doors being smashed in. We never know the reason but we have never had vandalism on this scale in or on the church.

If it had been just one door it would still be vandalism but the fact that three different sides of the church were attacked means that someone made a great effort to cause the damage and used great force to break the windows, especially the plate glass doors."