Locals in Kerry are “shocked and outraged” after a church in Kenmare was vandalised over the weekend, a local councillor says.
Parishioners arriving for Sunday mass at Holy Cross Church discovered a pentagram-type symbol spray-painted onto the front of the church’s limestone wall.
A message was also sprayed, but one word was not legible.
A criminal investigation into the incident is now ongoing.
Patrick Connor-Scarteen - a local Fine Gael councillor in Kerry - told Lunchtime Live parishioners attending 9am mass were shocked and outraged to see the graffiti.
He said: “They couldn’t believe such a vile act could be done on our holy ground and our lovely church.
“People are just very upset and angry over 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 it’s a “stunning structure built with the best of materials”.
He said Kenmare is a beautiful place and the church is often seen in photographs and art of the area.
He observed: “There’s very little crime or anti-social behaviour [here]. I truly believe this is an isolated incident.
“At the moment, there’s a criminal investigation going on… we just hope the perpetrator is brought to justice.”
Parish priest Fr George Hayes has also now asked experts to restore the facade and remove the graffiti safely.