Graffiti daubed on walls of Ballyarnett Presbyterian Church

The graffiti was daubed on the church walls sometime between Saturday evening and Sunday morning

Sectarian graffiti has been daubed on the walls of a Protestant church in Londonderry.

Republican slogans were painted across a wall and on the doors of Ballyarnett Presbyterian Church.

It is believed the attack happened sometime between Saturday evening and Sunday morning.

Reverend Alastair Rosborough said various statements had been daubed on the walls, including words which could not be broadcast.

"They basically say to us that we are not welcome here," he said.

"This is supposed to be the year when this city is the UK City of Culture and we're being told, you're not welcome here."

DUP East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell said the attack was "disgraceful" and must be condemned by everyone in the area.

"The graffiti was grossly offensive, sectarian and blatantly anti-Protestant," he said.

"Religious freedom is one of the foundation stones of the United Kingdom, those behind this attack want to close Protestant churches and bully Protestants.

"Too many Orange halls and Protestant homes in the north-west are being attacked without anyone being brought before our courts.

"The chief constable needs to take this hate crime seriously and make a visible and determined effort to tackle it."

Sinn Fein MLA Raymond McCartney said the attack was "totally and absolutely wrong".

"Those who did it are totally and absolutely mindless," he said.

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