Shock as 'disturbed' vandals daub Nazi symbols on Catholic oratory and cross
Gardaí are investigating after a Catholic oratory and cross were daubed with swastikas.
Volunteers who look after the oratory at Cnoc a Chomórtais or Scouthea Hill outside Clonmel, Co Tipperary, discovered it had been vandalised on Tuesday when they arrived to make preparations ahead of the annual August bank holiday Mass.
The incident comes in the same week as gardaí are investigating criminal damage to a mosque in Galway.
Volunteer Tony Cronin said they were "shocked" to find the Nazi insignia spray painted a number of times on the tiny religious structure.
The group have painted over the swastikas on the walls. However reflective pads on the cross, which help light it up at night, were also daubed and these may have to be replaced.
"We replaced them last year at a cost of €1,500, so I hope we can remove the spray paint without damaging them and having to replace them again," said Mr Cronin.
Clonmel parish priest Fr Michael Twomey said he believed it was a "sad act of vandalism from some disturbed individuals".
"Sadly, there has been other vandalism in past years, including oil poured upon the altar area and fencing damaged," he said. "But this incident has deeply saddened and shocked many parishioners and the people of Clonmel as a whole - young and old."
Local Independent TD Mattie McGrath said: "Some people are suggesting that wayward young people are behind this, but I don't agree. I think it is something more sinister."