A MARBLE plaque commemorating ancient church elders has been smashed to pieces during an incident at St James’s Parish Church in Dunamanagh.
At this stage it is unclear if the damage was caused intentionally by vandals, or accidentally by someone turning a vehicle in the churchyard.
The rector of St James’s Church, Rev Dr Robin Stockitt explained, “This incident has caused great distress to the church community. The plaque has historical significance to the church and it is unsettling that it was smashed to bits.
“Overall, we are not sure whether the situation was an accident or whether malice was attached. If it was indeed an accident, it should have been reported by the perpetrator. We are calling on anyone with information to help us find the culprit.”
The plaque, according to Rev Stockitt, was erected to commemorate historical parishioners who helped pave the way for today’s church, including Lord Ogilby who donated £500 in 1880. The plaque was crafted by the late Alfey Danton.
“To see the plague so brutally destroyed is also very distressing to relatives of Alfey,” Rev Stockitt added.
Police in Strabane have issued an appeal for information surrounding the incident.
A PSNI spokesperson explained. “Unfortunately, the plaque has been completely destroyed. There is a possibility that this damage was caused by a vehicle or trailer conducting a manoeuvre within the grounds of the church. Anyone with any information can contact police on 101 quoting reference 11102 05/02/18.
Posted: 9:40 am February 15, 2018