Martin ‘shocked and saddened’ at church arson attack

Alliance Councillor Stephen Martin has said he is ‘shocked and saddened’ that a local Church congregation has had to cancel its Sunday services due to an overnight arson attack.

The Lisburn and Castlereagh Deputy Mayor was speaking after Saintfield Road Presbyterian Church and its neighbouring hall suffered fire damage for the second time within a week, with the cause of the first fire still unknown

He said: “I am shocked and saddened that anyone could target a place of worship in this way, leaving a congregation at a loss this Sunday morning. My thoughts are with them.

“No place of worship should ever be subjected to this kind of attack and I join the local community in its outrage at those behind this attack.

“While it is not yet known if these two fires are connected, we cannot allow those intent on acting out against our community to succeed – whether these are two separate incidents or a campaign of intolerance, this thuggish behaviour must not be allowed to strike again.

“I would urge anyone with information to contact the PSNI as soon as possible, ensuring those responsible are removed from the streets and dealt with before the courts.”

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