Political Anti-Abortion Graffiti Painted on Two Catholic Churches

Country: United Kingdom

Date of incident: April 23, 2018

Carrickmore Chapel in County Tyrone and St. Patrick's Cathedral in County Armagh, both in Northern Ireland, were targeted by vandals. The graffiti specifically mentioned Sinn Fein and its advocacy for repeal of the 8th amendment, ahead of the referendum on the issue in the Republic of Ireland. Police investigated reports of criminal damage to both churches.

"Save the 8th, Save Ireland" and "Sinn Fein Irish Baby Killers, Speak Up" were painted on St. Patrick's Cathedral. Painted on Carrickmore Chapel, the local place of worship for Sinn Fein's candidate in the upcoming West-Tyrone by-election Orfhlaith Begley, was the message "Begley, S.F Irish Baby Killer."

Armagh Sinn Féin councillor Garath Keating described the vandalism to the cathedrals as "mindless and absolutely barbaric," saying that oppositioners should “protest at our office or in a public forum, not write it on a church wall.”

There are strong feelings among members of the community about Sinn Fein’s policy on abortion, however that does not excuse anyone engaging in criminal damage,” said a member of the Legislative Assembly of the Democratic Unionist Party's DUP, Thomas Buchanan.

“It is totally wrong and inappropriate to smear a place of worship, or any public building, with graffiti to make any sort of political point,” said Thomas Buchanan, according to BBC News.

The Eighth Amendment protects unborn children under the Irish Republic’s constitution and could be repealed with the vote on May 25th.

Sources: Irish News and Belfast Telegraph and Crux Now and BBC 
Photo by Kenneth AllenCC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons