Monday 23 October 2017

Mosque vandalised in 'hate crime'

The mosque in Galway. Photo: Andrew Downes
The mosque in Galway. Photo: Andrew Downes

Ciaran Tierney

Gardaí in Galway have been trawling through CCTV footage and conducting house-to-house inquiries in a bid to identify the people who carried out an attack on a mosque in the city on Monday night.

About 80 people were at the Maryam Mosque on the Old Monivea Road, when a double-glazed window was smashed by vandals at about 11.15pm.

The imam of the mosque, Ibrahim Noonan, said he was in no doubt that the incident was a "hate crime" after the criminal damage occurred about five minutes into a one-hour service at 11.10pm.

He told the Irish Independent that women and children were left "terrified" by the attack. Nobody was injured in the incident.

Muslims congregate late at night at the Masjid Maryam Mosque during the holy month of Ramadan.

Imam Noonan estimated that about 80 men, women, and children were at prayer when rocks were thrown.

"I believe that these people had been watching us and they deliberately carried out this attack during our late night prayers," he said.

"This was a hate crime, deliberately timed for while we were at prayer.

"What happened in London and Manchester is sad, tragic, and unforgivable, but people cannot assume that every Muslim and every mosque is involved, or supports these so-called radicals."

Imam Noonan has appealed for calm, and he also praised gardaí who were on the scene within minutes of the incident.

Irish Independent

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