THE attempted burning down of the Elm Church in Newcastle, which occurred on Tuesday 13 November at around 10.30pm, has been described by local Sinn Féin Councillor Willie Clarke as “nothing but a sectarian action which is to be condemned outright. I would like to commend residents near the church who brought the fire under control, until fire service personnel arrived. Their actions saved the building from serious damage.
“This is the latest incident at the church involving attempted arson. The people involved have to catch themselves on and contemplate the effects of their actions on our community. These actions serve no purpose but to heighten tensions and attempt to damage the good community relations in the town”.
Councillor Clarke also condemned the arson attack on the Causeway Road GP surgery which caused damage to the porch area of the health care building. He said: “This is an attack on the community, whether it is attacks on Orange Halls, GAA premises, churches or any other community buildings… it is wrong. Those behind any such attack need to stop and realise their actions are not welcome.”