Page last updated at 12:53 GMT, Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Church damaged in city bomb blast

The church has had a number of windows broken

A 170-year-old church has been damaged by a dissident republican car bomb at Newry courthouse.

Windows, including one commemorating the First World War, are feared broken at Downshire Road Presbyterian, near the scene of the blast.

Members of a badminton club had just left the premises, which date from 1843, when the device exploded.

Rev Brian Colvin said it may be Thursday before they knew the extent of the impact.

"It is a sad day for our community and we thought these days were behind us," he said.

Mr Colvin, a minister at the church for the last seven years, added they were "thankful that no one has been injured but it is a sad day for all the people of Newry".

"Newry has been a prosperous city over the last number of years," he said.

"I believe that most people just want to build peace and these things are not helpful and I think the community has been shocked."

The minister lives a mile from the blast and heard the explosion.

"There was a loud bang and we knew immediately," he said.

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