Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Man upturns church shrine before making off with crucifix

A brass crucifix stolen from St. Michael’s Church in Newtownhamilton has been located and returned, the PSNI has confirmed.

The theft occurred around 9.15am on Wednesday last when a young man, aged in his 20s, reportedly burst into the church and ran up the aisle, upturning a candle shrine and stealing the crucifix from the altar before running off.  The shrine’s marble top was smashed and damage caused to the floor where it fell.

Two elderly ladies who were in the church at the time were left “in shock and fearful” as they witnessed the incident unfold, local resident Jean Rushe revealed.

Ms Rushe offered details of the incident on social media in a bid to ascertain if anyone had seen anything suspicious.

She said: “This morning [at] approximately 9.15am or so a young white male in his early 20’s ran into church and turned over the candle shrine and broke the marble top as it hit the floor.  Thankfully there was no candles lit or it could have been a lot worse. The flooring was damaged. He then ran up to the altar and stole a brass crucifix and ran out the door.  There were ladies quietly praying in the church who were in shock and fearful in case he turned on them but thankfully he didn’t! They were very upset and shocked to say the least.”

The incident was reported to police in Newtownhamilton who are investigating.