MAN HELD OVER SECTARIAN ATTACKS ON CATHOLIC CHURCH

Police arrest man over arson and paint bomb attacks on St Mary's Star of the Sea Catholic Church in Newtownabbey

Police arrest man over arson and paint bomb attacks on St Mary’s Star of the Sea Catholic Church in Newtownabbey

DETECTIVES probing attacks on a Catholic Church have arrested a 52-year-old man for questioning.

He was detained in the Newtownabbey area on Thursday afternoon on suspicion of arson and criminal damage.

The suspect is being held at a police station in Antrim about a series of attacks on a Catholic church in Newtownabbey.

He can be held for up to 24 hours before he is either released on bail or charged to court.

In September, St Mary’s Star of the Sea church on the Shore Road was damaged in a petrol bomb attack.

Paint was also thrown at the church door.

Parish priest Father Anthony Alexander said he felt “exasperated” at the latest attack on his church.

“We’d just cleaned up after the last paint attack and the place was looking very well, and they’ve done it again – why I do not know,” he said.

“The church has been there for 150-odd years, and I just can’t work out what their problem is.”

In September, a petrol bomb and paint were thrown at the church.

Unionist politicians have condemned those behind the attacks.

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