Residents of Kerry are ‘shocked and outraged’ after a church in Kenmare was vandalized over the weekend, a local councilor has said.
Parishioners arriving for Sunday Mass at Holy Cross Church discovered a pentagram-like symbol spray-painted on the front of the church’s limestone wall.
A message was also sprayed, but a word was not legible.
A criminal investigation into the incident is currently underway.
Patrick Connor-Scarteen – a local Fine Gael councilor in Kerry – Recount noon live parishioners attending the 9 a.m. mass were shocked and outraged to see the graffiti.
He said: “They couldn’t believe that such a despicable act could be committed in our holy land and our beautiful church.
“People are just very upset and angry about it. It was quite a large symbol…I believe it’s known as a satanic inverted pentagram.
Cllr Connor-Scarteen said the church was built after the famine and was an “amazing structure built with the finest materials”.
He said Kenmare is a beautiful place and the church is often seen in photographs and art from the area.
He observed: “There is very little crime or anti-social behavior [here]. I sincerely believe this is an isolated incident.
“At the moment, a criminal investigation is ongoing…we just hope that the perpetrator will be brought to justice.”
The parish priest, Father George Hayes, also commissioned experts to restore the facade and remove the graffiti safely.