Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Loyalists launch petrol bomb attack on Holy Cross church

Áine McEntee:

Parish Priest of Holy Cross Church in Ardoyne, Fr Aidan Troy, has paid tribute to the emergency services which quickly arrived on the scene after the Passionist monastery was attacked by three petrol bombs.

The monastery's roof was targeted in the attack which originated from the loyalist Woodvale Road area just after 2am on Saturday morning. Part of the roof caved in and fell on to the kitchen floor after two devices were thrown. The kitchen was smoke- and water-damaged as a result.

A third petrol bomb was thrown when the PSNI and fire crews arrived. Stones were thrown at the PSNI from Twaddell Avenue.

The PSNI said they were treating the attack as sectarian.

Last week Fr Aidan Troy came in for scathing criticism from unionist politicians for asking the British government to provide evidence to back up their reasons for revoking Sean Kelly's licence and sending the republican back to jail.

Speaking to the Andersonstown News yesterday (Sunday), the parish priest said he was reluctant to link the petrol bomb attack with his comments on Seán Kelly.

"These things happen for a whole lot of reasons. When I came here first four years ago, the monastery was set on fire. I wasn't even here 96 hours when it happened. So you can't tell what reasons lie behind terror attacks.

"I just feel saddened by it. It saddens me that we're living in an awful time of death and destruction. That girl from Waterford who died on the bus, people in Egypt, and those people who went on the London underground and never came back."

Paying tribute to the emergency services who came to the monastery's aid Fr Aidan Troy said the attack could have been much more serious.

"This could have taken hold of the building very easily, but it didn't – so it could have been a lot worse. And I'm grateful no one was hurt. The emergency services were great and I would like to pay tribute to them. It's a great shame they were attacked."

Fr Troy said the clergy in Holy Cross had received great support from their parishioners as well as other denominations in the area.

The Bishop of Down and Connor Bishop Patrick Walsh also paid the church a personal visit to see the damage for himself.

Sinn Féin North Belfast Assembly member Gerry Kelly said there was no justification for the attack.

"Holy Cross monastery is a focal point for the local nationalist community," he said.

"It could very easily have been much worse. It is fortunate that we are not dealing with worse damage here, and indeed deaths, as a result of this petrol bomb attack."

DUP MLA for North Belfast Nelson McCausland, who had sharply criticised the parish priest for his comments on Seán Kelly, said he condemned the attack.

"I deplore the attack on the church. Over the years there have been many attacks on churches and Orange halls across Northern Ireland. All such attacks are to be deplored and are unacceptable in a civilised society."

The DUP man refused to comment on the motives for the petrol bomb attack.

"It's pointless to speculate on what factors motivated a single attack – unless one questions the person who threw the petrol bomb you don't know what's going on."

Fr Troy dismisses claim on bombing

Attack on city church 'sectarian'

Petrol bombs thrown at church


Post a Comment

<< Home