VANDALISM of a life-saving device located at a local church has been condemned.
The damage to the casing of the defibrillator at Killeter Presbyterian Church was raised at Thursday's meeting of the Health and Communities committee on Derry City and Strabane District Council.
During a report on the registration of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Automatic External Defibrillators (AED) across the district, Castlederg-based councillor Keith Kerrigan raised the vandalism.
The DUP Alderman commented: "I condemn the recent incident whereby there was an attack on the AED placed at Maghernageeragh Church whereby some vandals attempted to get into it.
"It wasn't individuals seeking to gain access to use it, they seemed to use a crowbar or something to do damage and it is currently decommissioned at present.
"Just to condemn such an attack on a vital piece of kit."
Fellow Derg councillor and committee chair, Steven Edwards (SDLP), added his condemnation.
The church also said the congregation and community at Killeter had been left shocked by the wanton vandalism.
Writing on social media, a spokesperson said: "It is with regret to inform that the casing to the defibrillator located at our church has been vandalised.
"The defibrillator was installed to serve all within our local community if ever needed, to potentially save a life.
"It is hard to understand anyone's motivation to jeopardise such a valuable piece of life saving equipment.
"We have informed the relevant authorities that the defibrillator is removed from service until further notice."