Repeated Vandalism at Longford Church; Bishop Calls it "Profoundly Disrespectful"

Country: Ireland

Date of incident: August 2, 2019

Category: Social Hostility / Intolerance

Attack against: Faith

Area of case: Private

Irish police Gardaí investigated an attempted burglary at the Catholic St. Michael's Church in Shroid, Longford Co. after a passerby reported broken windows to the parish house. Unknown perpetrators smashed a few plain glass windows and a stained glass window depicting the Sacred Heart which was over the altar of the church between July 28th and August 2nd.

This incident was not the first act of vandalism at this church as at Easter two years ago, thieves broke the stained glass window, smashed a plinth and stole the tabernacle.

This time, half of the stained glass window was destroyed and the other half was cracked. The stained glass window will have to be completely replaced, according to the priest. “It is an old style stained glass window. Half the glass has been destroyed, and the rest of it has been cracked. The window will have to be replaced. It will be quite expensive.” 

The parish priest said: "We are extremely upset. It is a place of worship. It would make you cry, really. There was nothing of value, other than sentimental or religious value, to be taken. We - the Longford community - have been left feeling violated.”

Bishop Francis Duffy of Ardagh and Clonmacnois said he was "deeply saddened." "Let there be no ambiguity, this is not a victimless crime. Vandalism of this kind is profoundly disrespectful to people of faith and to places of worship. It is threatening and distressing. In a truly pluralist society these examples of vandalism are of concern to our whole community," Bishop Duffy said.

Source: Irish Times