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Dublin: 8°C Wednesday 14 April 2021

Police seeking two suspects as Derry church building destroyed in arson attack

Two men are believed to have started the blaze at Holy Family church at 10.30pm.

Fire. The blaze at Holy Family church last night. Source: Leona O'Neill/Twitter.com

POLICE IN NORTHERN Ireland are investigating after a Catholic church in Derry was deliberately set on fire last night. 

The PSNI have said that two men are believed to have started the blaze at Holy Family church on Aileach Road at 10.30pm. 

Detective Constable Fielding said in a statement this morning that “the blaze spread to the church and nearby parochial house causing damage to both.”

“The outbuilding was completely destroyed.”

The aftermath of the blaze shows the church’s parochial house and outbuildings damaged by the blaze with firefighters saying a number of youths were seen setting fire to a shed at the rear of the parochial house.

Speaking to journalist Leona O’Neill last night, Holy Family’s Fr Paddy O’Kane said it “was a big shock”.

“What can I say? Why are they doing this?” he said. “Words fail me…just to say how disappointed I am that anybody would do that to the church.”

The PSNI have appealed for information to anyone who was in the area or may have information about the crime. 

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