Gardai investigate vandalism at St Annes Church in Ballyshannon

Gardai are seeking a gang which vandalised one of the north-west’s most recognisable landmarks, St Anne’s Church in Ballyshannon. Co.Donegal.

The 172-year-old Church of Ireland building is sited at the town’s highest point and visible to visitors approaching on any road.

Spotlights which illuminate the church at night were smashed, and panes of glass in a large arched window were broken. Slates were removed from the roof when the thugs couldn’t gain entry through the broken window, which was behind a grill.

Boarding has been erected as temporary protection against further burglary attempts.

Vicar, Rev Brian Russell said there was evidence a crow-bar was used on the grill which held steady but was moved back enough to let the vandals see inside.

He said they then clearly decided to seek to gain entry through the roof and moved about a dozen slates. For some reason, they abandoned their effort to break in.

The vicar added that it was very hurtful for his congregation, especially as they were just recovering from the shock of vandalism a few months ago when windows were broken by stones.

Gardai said nothing was taken during the attack in the early hours of Wednesday but several thousand euro damage was caused.