STONE-throwing youths are using a large stained glass window at a local church as “target practice”, a local clergyman has warned.
Rev Robert Herron, of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Omagh, said that the window at the back of the James Street building had been smashed earlier this year after someone threw a “very heavy” stone through it, breaching the protective layer on top of the glass.
But, after a replacement was finally installed a couple of weeks ago, the minister said it has once again been targeted by stone-throwers on a number of occasions.
Mr Herron said that this time there had been “minor damage” to the window’s protective layer, which was not penetrated.
He added that it appeared the outer layer had also been hit with “something very solid”, like a hammer.
While the police said that the damage had been reported as a ‘hate crime’, the clergyman described it as “anti-social behaviour, basically vandalism”.
“Obviously, they’ve been using the window as target practice,” he told the Ulster Herald.
Mr Herron said that while the damage on this occasion was minor, the protective layer was “quite expensive” to replace.
Police say the latest damage to the window is believed to have occurred at some stage between 4pm on Tuesday, July 21 and 2pm on Thursday, July 23.
Constable Patterson said, “This has been reported as a hate crime and enquiries are continuing to establish what happened. I am appealing to anyone who witnessed anything suspicious in the area around that time to contact police on 101, quoting reference number 1045 of 23/07/20.”