Northern Ireland

East Belfast Catholic Church damaged by vandals

Politicians from both sides of the community have condemned an attack on a Catholic Church in east Belfast.

Graffiti was painted on the walls of St Matthew's Church in the Short Strand.

Spotlights around the building were smashed.

Progressive Unionist Party leader Brian Ervine visited the church on Thursday to express his condemnation of the attack. Niall O Donnghaile, Sinn Fein, said the attack was "wholly unjustifiable".

He said parishioners had been upset at the damage caused.

He called for community leaders from all sections of the community to show leadership in order to send a clear message to those behind the vandalism.

Seamas de Faoite, SDLP, said the vandalism was "sickening".

"It's totally unacceptable and goes against the grain of the strong work going on in the community," he said.