By Cian Molloy - 04 August, 2019
St Michael’s chapel-of-ease was vandalised on Thursday night, the second attack on a church building in the Longford parish in a year.
Windows were smashed, including a beautiful stained glass window above the altar, depicting the Sacred Heart.
Bishop Francis Duffy of Ardagh and Clonmacnoise said he was deeply saddened by the attack, as was the church’s administrator Fr James MacKiernan and all of Longford’s parishioners.
St Michael’s, on the N2 Dublin Road, is believed to be the oldest serving Catholic church building in the Diocese of Ardagh and Clonmacnoise. The modest chapel-of-ease was built in 1830, ten years before work started on St Mel’s Cathedral.
After visiting the site to view the destruction and to commiserate with his parishioners, Bishop Duffy noted that this was the second attack on St Michael’s. In 2017, vandals broke in to the wayside church and desecrated the building. The bishop also noted that it is less than 12 months since his parish’s other chapel-of-ease, St Anne’s in Curry, was vandalised.
“Let there be no ambiguity, this is not a victimless crime,” Bishop Duffy said. “Vandalism of this kind is profoundly disrespectful to people of faith and to places of worship. It is threatening and distressing.
“In a truly pluralist society these examples of vandalism are of concern to our whole community.”
Bishop Duffy and Father MacKiernan have appealed to people with any information about these attacks to contact the An Garda Síochána at Longford on 043 335 0570.