Earlier today I learned of the overnight attack on Our Lady of the Angels Oratory in Kilkeel. This attack caused substantial damage to property and sacred furnishings. The police (PSNI) were called to the scene and are currently investigating the situation.
The perpetrators of this callous and cowardly action violated a place of
worship and left an entire local community appalled, distressed and
This act of pointless destruction was calculated to escalate tensions at a time of the year when every effort must be made by all citizens to promote respect and peace.
Places of worship hold deep significance for the entire community and for their congregations and they should not be targeted.
I appeal to all those in positions of leadership, media, community
workers, Church ministers, politicians and other organisations to continue to exercise responsible governance, to condemn with courage such actions as that perpetrated in Kilkeel last night, and to do all within their power to dissipate and calm fears and apprehensions rather than enflame tensions, conscious of the authority and consequences of their public voice.
Together with all citizens of good will concerned for the common good, I
pray that all of us will work for peace, harmony and good neighbourliness in the days, weeks and months ahead so that we, our children and our society may enjoy a shared future that is viable for all.
I encourage all who have information in relation to this attack on Our Lady of the Angels Oratory to contact and assist the PSNI with their investigations.
For media contact: Father Edward McGee 0044 (0)78111 44268