Vandals set church on fire

VESTRY DOOR SET ABLAZE DURING BREAK-IN AT MULRANKIN CHURCH

ANNE MARIE O'CONNOR

CHURCH OF Ireland Rector Maria Jansson has lamented how a fire in Mulrankin Church will have 'a very traumatic effect on older members of the congegration'.

A break in at St. David's Church sometime during the night and morning of Wednesday, June 22 resulted in a fire which caused extensive smoke damage to the 200 year old building.

The intruders set fire to the vestry door, which caused smoke to billow through the building.

' There was quite a lot of damage. The windows and pews are intact, but everything in the church will have to be professionally cleaned, repaired and repainted,' she said adding that the church will have to close for several months.

'People who use the church will go to Kilscoran or Killinick. It's not as though people won't have a place to worship, but something like this can have a traumatic effect on older people,' she said.

The damage could have been much worse if parishioner William Stephenson, who was passing the church, hadn't noticed that the vestry door was ajar.

Two units of Wexford fire service came to the scene and put out the smouldering fire.

As Rector of Wexford and Kilscoran, Revd. Jansson said she was hopeful that parishioners will be able to return to worship within a couple of months.

' This is a lovely church and we will renovate and open it for those who worship there so faithfully as soon as is possible,' she said.

She stressed that this was one of several attacks on rural churches in recent months and members of the Church of Ireland community should not be alarmed that it was specifically targeted at them. Over the last few months a number of Roman Catholic churches in rural Wexford have also sustained breakins, she noted.

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