Over 100 windows have been smashed in a Church of Ireland church in Co Offaly, leaving parishioners facing a bill of over £62,000.
The rector of St Catherine’s, the Rev Isaac Delamere, does not believe there was a sectarian motive.
“The scale of the damage has taken us aback” he said. He also talked of being “heartened by the tremendous support that the parishioners of St Catherine’s were receiving from every part of the wider community”.
The wider community support is something “they will take strength from as they carry out the task of repairs in the aftermath” he added.
The imposing church building in the centre of the town has about 30 families. Garda have advised installing CCTV in case of repeat attacks.
Rev Delamere says community relations are good and that there has been no history of any similar attacks in the town.
“One of the most distressing aspects of the attack is that the church is set in tarmac,” he said. “That means they must have gone to some trouble to bring over 100 stones with them. It also looks like it might have been young people using slingshots over the Halloween mid-term break, but we don’t want to be throwing any stones in return.”
Garda said they are investigating criminal damage which occurred between 30 and 31 of October at Church Rd, Tullamore. “Criminal damage was caused to a number of windows of a church,” a spokeswoman said. “There have been no arrests and investigations are ongoing,”