Arson attack at St Patrick’s Church in north Belfast

St Patrick's Catholic Church on Donegall Street in Belfast. Photo: Jonathan Porter / Press Eye
St Patrick's Catholic Church on Donegall Street in Belfast. Photo: Jonathan Porter / Press Eye

A north Belfast Catholic church has been damaged in an arson attack.

The blaze, which was discovered on Monday afternoon, caused “significant damage” to St Patrick’s in Donegall Street, Bishop Noel Treanor said.

“I am deeply shocked and appalled by the suspected arson attack,” he said.

“This criminal action is a violation of the sanctity of the church and an attack upon the local community that has caused significant damage to the property and left the local congregation distressed and deeply upset.”

Bishop Treanor said he has been reassured by the many messages of support from local clergy and across the community.

The police and Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service were called to the scene and are currently investigating the cause of the fire. I pay tribute to these emergency services who acted quickly to bring the fire under control and have prevented further damage to this most beloved place of worship in the heart of the city of Belfast,” he added.