Police investigating ‘vile abuse’ of priest during Orange Walk

Polcie are investigating an alleged assualt in Glasgow
Polcie are investigating an alleged assualt in Glasgow

Police are investigating an alleged assault after the Catholic Church claimed a priest had been spat on during an Orange Walk.

The Archdiocese of Glasgow said Canon Tom White had been speaking to parishioners outside St Alphonsus Church in Glasgow when he was spat on twice, before being lunged at by a man with a pole.

In a statement on Facebook, the Archdiocese said that both Canon White and his parishioners had been “subjected to vile abuse”.

It claimed: “The priest was spat upon. Spittle landed on the back of his head. He wiped it away. Another mouthful of thick spittle was spat into his eye socket. Again he wiped it away leaving his hand full of the vile liquid.

“He was then further insulted and lunged at by a man carrying a pole before police arrived to restore some kind of order.”

The Church said: “What kind of society is it that allows ministers of religion and churchgoers to be intimidated and attacked by a group which has a long history of fomenting fear and anxiety on city streets?”

It also asked: “Why is the Orange Order still allowed to schedule its intimidating parades on streets containing Catholic Churches at times when people are trying to get in and out for Mass?”

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “We can confirm we are investigating the assault of a man outside a church at the Barras (area of Glasgow) around 4.20pm on Saturday July 7.

“He was not injured as a result of the assault and inquiries are ongoing.”

The spokeswoman stated: “Whilst the parade was passing the church at the time, any involvement, if at all, by someone from the Orange Walk, is still to be established.”