VANDALS who pelted stones at Moville’s Church of Ireland last week destroyed irreplaceable windows which are over 150 years old, the ‘Journal’ has learned.
The incident, which happened sometime between Easter Sunday evening and the morning of Friday 13th, has caused widespread anger and annoyance in the whole community.
Speaking to the ‘Journal’ yesterday a representative from St. Columba’s Church said the whole congregation were extremely upset about the incident.
“This is a hateful thing to have happened and it is certainly something we did not need.
“We’ve had a specialist come and look at the windows today [Monday] and they told us there was no way they would be able to repair them and restore the original windows. They have been there for over 150 years and it is a terrible shame we are losing this feature.”
Church members were saddened when they discovered what had happened on Friday morning.
“It was very upsetting to see what had happened. There was glass everywhere and loads of stones laying all over the church, some even as far up as the altar. There was a big plank which had been used to batter the windows, but we all pulled together and got the place tided up again in time for Sunday’s service.”
The Church representative says they are already under pressure because of storm damage done to their roof, and two separate oil thefts in the past three months.
“This is something we certainly didn’t need. It is just another added expense ontop of everything else. We were already going to have to carry out some fundraising for the roof in the coming months as our parish is so small and the heritage grants there once to restore old buildings have been done away with.”
A stunning feature just outside the town, St. Columba’s Chuch is often used by members of all dominations for wedding photos; for this reason, the spokesperson does not believe the vandalism was sectarianism.
“I don’t think it was pin pointed, we think it was probably just young people mucking about and it didn’t matter where exactly it was.”
Inspector David Murphy from Buncrana Gardai Station said was an “unfortunate incident” and urged anyone with information to contact Moville Gardai immediately.
Local Moville Labour councillor, Martin Farren, who lives near the Church, has condemned the attack, saying he is “bitterly disappointed”.
“It is a disgrace people would vandalise such a beautiful historical church building, but I’m sure this is only the very small minority of people. It’s totally unacceptable and I hope people work with the Gardai to bring the culprits to justice.”
Anyone with information or who noticed anything suspicious should contact Moville Gardai on 0749382002