Police probe sinister graffiti attacks at Free Presbyterian church

Police are investigating sinister graffiti attacks at Dunmurry Free Presbyterian Church on the outskirts of Belfast.

Monday, 7th January 2019, 10:33 am
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 2:35 pm
Rev Alan Smylie, Billy Smyth, chairman of the Seymour Hill and Conway Community Association, DUP councillor Jonathan Craig and Edwin Poots MLA at the scene of a graffiti attack at Dunmurry Free Presbyterian Church.

Slogans accusing a man of being a drug dealer have been daubed on walls of the building in Seymour Hill twice in less than a week.

It is not known why the church has been the target of the graffiti attacks, but local DUP councillor Jonathan Craig said there is “growing anger in the Seymour Hill area that a place of worship has been desecrated.”

“This has now happened twice within the last week and it is completely unacceptable in this community,” he said.

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“The congregation and minister Rev Smylie are dismayed by this desecration of the church building and want it to stop immediately. They are at a complete loss to understand why the church has been targeted.”

Cllr Craig added: “Dunmurry Free Presbyterian Church has been an integral part of the Seymour Hill community for almost 40 years and is held in high regard by the entire community. There is a sense of complete disbelief at what has happened here.

“Both myself and my MLA colleague Edwin Poots have been to visit the church and show our support to the congregation.

“We were pleased to see the support given by the local community group who are appalled about what has happened here and are appealing to anyone in the community who my have information about who is responsible or why this is happening to give that information to the PSNI.”

Confirming that police are investigating the incidents, a PSNI spokesperson said: “Police received the report of graffiti on the wall of a church in the Larch Hill area of Dunmurry on the morning of Sunday, January 6. Enquiries are ongoing.”

Anyone with information about the attacks is asked to pass it on to police via the non-emergency number 101.