Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Catholic church damaged in arson attack in Co Antrim

A Catholic church in Co Antrim has been damaged in an arson attack.

Police are appealing for information and witnesses following the report of criminal damage at the side door of Our Lady and St Patrick’s Catholic Church in the Castle Street area of Ballymoney. 

A PSNI spokesperson said: “Police received a report shortly after 9.45pm that the side door of a church in the Castle Street area of the town had been set alight. The fire was extinguished before the arrival of officers and thankfully no injuries were reported. Some damage was caused to the door as a result of the fire and we are investigating what happened as a deliberate arson attack. Our enquiries are ongoing and I would appeal to anyone who may be able to assist with our investigation to contact us on 101, quoting reference 1540 19/11/23.”

In a Facebook post, the church said the fire had been started deliberately.

The post said it had been quickly picked up by the alarms and Father Damian McCaughan was able to extinguish the flames.

The statement said: “As you may have seen online there was an attempted arson at Our Lady and St Patrick’s on Sunday night.

“A fire was started deliberately outside the doors of the old entrance at the back of the church.

“Luckily our Guardian Angel looked after us and the fire was quickly picked up by the alarms.

“Fr Damian was able to extinguish the flames before they did too much damage.

“Special thanks to PSNI Causeway Coast & Glens who attended promptly.”