Northern Ireland

Sectarian graffiti sprayed on Catholic church in Kilrea

Sean Bateson posted a photo of the damaged chapel on Friday night Image copyright Sean Bateson
Image caption Sean Bateson posted a photo of the damaged chapel on Friday night

Offensive graffiti insulting the Pope has been sprayed on a Catholic church in Kilrea, County Londonderry.

Slogans appeared on the walls and doors of St Anne's Oratory on Garvagh Road.

It was reported to police shortly before 01:00 BST on Saturday and Insp Stephen McCafferty said it is being treated as a "sectarian hate crime".

Sinn Féin councillor Sean Bateson said parishioners were "incensed" by the graffiti and called for those responsible to be brought to justice.

Image copyright Google Maps
Image caption St Anne's Oratory on Garvagh Road, Kilrea, is part of the Catholic Diocese of Derry

Mr Bateson said he visited the parish priest on Saturday offer his support and added that the graffiti has since been removed.

"I would call on anyone with any information on this hate crime to bring it forward to the PSNI," the councillor said.

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