Priest ‘disappointed’ at nativity scene attack

Priest ‘disappointed’ at nativity scene attack The vandalised Red Abbey Crib

A Cork-based priest has condemned a vandalism attack of a nativity scene at one the city’s oldest ecclesiastical structures.

Just hours after its unveiling on December 2, the Red Abbey Crib, located behind the railings inside the landmark abbey tower, was trespassed and vandalised.

After the official light switch-on at the crib on Saturday night, it appears that the perpetrator climbed over the two-meter high, spiked railings and threw the wooden manger out into the plaza area where it was smashed. There was no damage to any of the statues.

Condemning the attack, Fr Eoin Whooley of St Finbarr’s South Church said it was very “disappointing” and that people take “pride” in the crib being placed there.

However, he did add that it’s unclear whether any anti-religious sentiment was attached to the attack and that immediately jumping to that conclusion would be “unfair”.

“It’s hard to say with any certainty – but I mean certainly here in this area there have been no instances of other vandalism in terms of church property or anything else like that,” he said.

Fr Whooley added that he is “well aware” of the increase of anti-religious violence, but given there have been no other deliberate attacks on church buildings in the area, it’s “unlikely” that this one was motivated for that reason.

Council workers were on the site on Sunday to repair the damage and restore the crib.