Northern Ireland

Arson attack on Ballyclare church

Ballyclare Presbyterian Church in County Antrim has been damaged in an arson attack.

The kitchen at the church on the Doagh Road was extensively damaged in the blaze, which was discovered at about 2350 BST on Thursday.

Police believe the fire was started maliciously. An investigation is under way.

Paula Bradley, the major of Newtownabbey has condemned the attack.

"I hope that anyone in the local area who has any information regarding the fire will come forward," she said.

"The church is very active in the local area and I believe the congregation will do everything possible to make sure that they can continue with the great work they do."

Alliance councillor Tom Campbell described the arson attack as "despicable".

"It is deeply troubling to think that anyone would carry out an attack of this nature," he said.