First Derry Presbyterian church paint bombed

First Derry Presbyterian Church has been targeted by paint bombers.

The recently refurbished Magazine Street building - one of the city’s iconic structures - was attacked in the early hours of yesterday.

Derry SDLP Assemblyman Mark H Durkan condemned the attempt at “wanton destruction” at such an iconic landmark in the city.

“There is a sectarian element to it but then again the people behind this are mindless idiots who, if there weren’t attacking churches, would be engaged in an activity equally as disgusting.”

The paint was spattered on the steps of the building but the damage caused by the vandals was minimal.

The attack was not the first this year as several paint bombs were hurled at the building three days before over 1000 people - including Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and Chief Constable Matt Baggott - attended the reopening of First Derry Presbyterian Church on May 16.

More than £2.5m was spent refurbishing the historic building which was closed in 2002 due to dry rot.

This week’s incident followed an attack by vandals last week one of the Waterside’s most historic churches.

Sectarian graffiti, ‘Upa Ra’, was daubed on the front of Ebrington Presbyterian Church.

The vandals scaled an ornate fence at the building to carry out the act.

Minister at the Church, Rev Paul Linkens said he was “disappointed” at the incident. “I was never aware of any tensions of any sort in this area , it was not something for which this area was known. This is a Presbyterian church but the people here are open and inviting.”