Grafitti attack on church hall is condemned

Graffiti at the church hall.

A GRAFFITI attack on the church hall at St Aidan’s Church of Ireland on the Belfast Road in Glenavy has been condemned.

The hall had ‘Republicans Against Drugs’ and`RAD’ painted on walls and also on the fence of the property.

The incident was caught on CCTV which has now been passed to the police.

Rev Linda Cronin, who only took over at St Aidan’s Church in February after moving from Shropshire, said she was “disappointed” by what had happened.

“It is my first negative experience,” she said.

“The community are pulling together to put it right and it is really encouraging. Regardless of political persuasion, we are working together,” the Irish News reported her as saying.

The Glenavy Parish Facebook page said: ‘Dear friends it was most disappointing to discover graffiti on St Aidan’s Church and fence this morning. However this is now in the hands of the police and we have CCTV.

‘Lisburn and Castleragh Council will be making good the damage done. Thank you to everyone who has contacted with messages of support and offers of help, it really is appreciated.
As a community we will continue to work together for the good of all. Revd Linda Cronin’.

South Antrim DUP MP Paul Girvan said: “I am so sad to see St Aidan’s Church of Ireland has been tagged with pro-republican grafitti. I want to send my best wishes to the leadership and parishoners of St. Aidan’s Church.

“I know that the people of Glenavy would go far in their condemnation of this destructive act. This does not represent the attitude of the people of Glenavy.”

Alliance councillor David Honeyford said the “graffiti has no place in our society, particularly on the walls of a church hall”.

“I feel absolutely gutted for our local Church of Ireland family to have their hall abused by local thugs, which I utterly condemn,” he said.

“The Rev Linda Cronin has worked tirelessly and been a key member of local team throughout this pandemic, working for everyone in Glenavy and the surrounding area and as a community we thank her and the parish for their help.

“I have spoken to Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council and asked them to remove the graffiti as soon as possible, and I urge anyone with information on this incident to contact police with it immediately”.

Sinn Féin councillor Gary McCleave said the graffiti attack was “wrong and I condemn it.

“There is no place for this type of activity in our society,” he said.

“Anyone with information on this attack should bring it forward to the PSNI”.

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