Source: Irish Catholic Media Office
The small community in Shroid, Co Longford has been left feeling "violated" after their parish church was vandalised for the second time in two years last week.
A stained glass window depicting the Sacred Heart, and several other smaller windows were smashed in the attack on St Michael's Church. After visiting the parish on Friday, Bishop Francis Duffy, Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnois, expressed his sadness at the vandalism.
Bishop Duffy said he was "deeply saddened" at the violent attack on Saint Michael's Church. He said: "The church, at which Mass is celebrated each Sunday, was broken into and windows - including a stained glass window - were smashed. This is the second attack on the church; the first occurring at Easter 2017, when it was desecrated. Another church in the parish, Saint Anne's, Curry, was vandalised last year. Let there be no ambiguity, this is not a victimless crime. Vandalism of this kind is profoundly disrespectful to people of faith and to places of worship. It is threatening and distressing. In a truly pluralist society these examples of vandalism are of concern to our whole community."
Parish priest Fr Tony Gilhooley told the Irish Times: "We are extremely upset. It is a place of worship. It would make you cry really. It is the second time this little church has been vandalised. There is nothing of value, other than sentimental or religious value to be taken."
Police are investigating the incident which they believe happened sometime between 28 July and 2 August. They have asked anyone who may have seen suspicious activity to contact Longford Garda station.
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