Minister target of graffiti on eve of President’s visit

Grafitti daubed on a gable wall at Kennedy Place yesterday morning. 3009JM49

Grafitti daubed on a gable wall at Kennedy Place yesterday morning. 3009JM49

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Derry Presbyterian minister Rev David Latimer has been targeted by graffiti painted in the city’s Fountain estate on the eve of a Presidential visit to his cityside church.

The minister of First Derry last night told the ‘Journal’ he was disappointed by the graffiti daubed on a wall in the Loyalist estate and says

he will pray for those responsible.

But he says he “remains committed to building bridges in the city”.

“I am convinced beyond all shadow of doubt that what I am doing, that the path I am on, is the one chosen for me by God.

“The Lord has taken me on this journey and I would not change anything.”

The Derry cleric, who served as a Territorial Army chaplain during a deployment in Afghanistan’s Hel-mand province in 2008, has faced criticism from some unionists for speaking at Sinn Fein’s ard fheis earlier this month and for his close friendship with Martin McGuin-ness. He appeared at the Sinn Fein MP’s campaign rally in the Bogside last night.

The graffiti attack comes only days ahead of an expected visit to First Derry by outgoing Irish presi-

dent Mary McAleese, who will be the inaugural speaker at the first

“Converations Across the Walls” on October 6. Details are to be announced at noon today.

Rev Latimer said the ‘Conversations’ series is intended to promote “better inter-communal relations.”