19/05/2016

Investigation Launched Following Arson Attack On Baptist Church

Police have launched an investigation following an arson attack on a Baptist Church in Co Down.

Tyres were put up against the side of the building on the Loughbrickland Road in Rathfriland and set alight between 11pm and 11.30pm on Wednesday, 18 May.

Damaged was caused to the side of the church and windows.

Sinn Féin MLA Chris Hazzard said: "This arson attack on a Baptist church on the Loughbrickland Road in Rathfriland was wrong and I condemn it.

"Thankfully no-one was injured in this attack but there is no doubt it will cause a great deal of distress to those who use the church.

"All places of worship should be treated with respect.
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"I would encourage anyone with information on this incident to bring it forward to the PSNI."

South Down Ulster Unionist MLA Harold McKee said: "I was very angry to learn that Rathfriland Baptist Church was the target of an arson attack last night shortly after 11pm, when tyres were piled up against the building and set alight, melting a PVC window and causing smoke damage.

"It is an absolute disgrace that any place of worship should be attacked and I know the local community share my shock and anger as they woke up to this news.

"I have spoken to Pastor Ian Wilson and offered my support to the congregation.

"Quite clearly, whoever was responsible for this incident needs to be caught and punished."

(CD)

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