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Window smashed in Galway mosque while people inside praying

Imam Ibrahim Noonan said people were upset by the incident.

GARDAÍ IN GALWAY are investigating an incident of criminal damage after a window was smashed in a mosque while people were inside praying.

Members of the Masjisd Maryam Galway mosque were inside the building praying to mark the Muslim holy month of Ramadan when rocks were thrown at the window at about 11pm last night.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Today with Sean O’Rourke, Imam Ibrahim Noonan said that there was a large number of people in the mosque when the incident occurred.

“There was quite an amount of people in the mosque – men women and children,” said Noonan.

“We were actually in the middle of the prayer when we heard loud bangs – very loud bangs on the windows,” he said.

Imam Noonan said that at first it sounded like large fuse had blown in the building.

But when we completed the prayers we realised that the windows had been smashed.

Noonan said that the congregation went outside and saw “young men… running away from the mosque”.

He said he saw two young people running away from the building.

He said those present were upset by the vandalism.

A Garda spokesperson said that officers were investigating an incident of criminal damage at a property in Ballybrit, Galway city at about 11pm last night.

It is believed that the vandalism was carried out by juveniles.

Local Social Democrats representative Niall Ó Tuathail said that incident was a “cowardly act”, and said he had written to the gardaí in relation to the emergence of an apparent  neo-Nazi group in Galway.

“This cowardly act does not represent Galway or Galwegians. Unfortunately, there are a small minority of people who want to make Muslims and other communities feel unsafe,” said Ó Tuathail.

This cannot be tolerated in any form. People of Muslim faith are welcome in Galway and contribute to the diversity and vibrancy of the city.

Read: Imam says extremists are targeting ‘vulnerable’ young Muslims in Ireland

Read: Gardaí investigating after large hole dug in Longford heritage site

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Cormac Fitzgerald

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