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Historic Ayr kirk vandalised with explicit graffiti

A historic 17th Century church in South Ayrshire has been defaced with "mindless" vandalism.

Different areas of the church were targeted - Photo: David Gemmell

A historic 17th Century church in South Ayrshire has been defaced with "mindless" vandalism.

The Auld Kirk of Ayr was targeted on Thursday night with explicit graffiti spray-painted on the windows, door and gravestones.

The Church of Scotland site dates back to 1654 and Scotland's national bard Robert Burns worshipped there for 17 years.

Police said the damage amounted to thousands of pounds.

Reverend David Gemmell said South Ayrshire Council had cleaned the worst of the graffiti off before the church service takes place on Sunday.

"It's just mindless vandalism," he said. "I've been here for 25 years and this is the first and hopefully last time something like this has happened.

"It's very disappointing. The church is there to serve the community and it has been for 367 years. "What have we ever done to anybody to deserve this?"

He said the graffiti on the church door was painted over and the security perspex screen on the windows would need to be replaced.

Police officers are carrying out inquiries to find those responsible for the damage.

Ch Insp Kevin Lammie said: "This vandalism was obviously a deliberate act.

"The damage to this sacred building and these historic statues runs into thousands of pounds, not to mention the upset this will cause to the Ayr community."

He urged anyone who may have been in the area around 17:00 on Thursday to get in touch.

In particular police hope to speak to those who may have dash-cam footage or private CCTV.


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