Normandy horror attack priest’s church donated land to build mosque, reveals Down monk who knew Fr Jacques Hamel

The head of a religious order in Co Down who knew slain Father Jacques Hamel has revealed that Church land beside the scene of the murder was given by Catholic authorities to Muslims to build a mosque.

Father Mark Ephrem Nolan (58), Prior of the Benedictine Monastery of the Holy Cross near Rostrevor, said such attacks could happen anywhere, and confirmed Fr Hamel had good relations with those of the Islamic faith in the local area.

“His last word in his pastoral letter was ‘mercy’. I think that’s what he would want to come out of this tragedy.”

The next-to-the-last word should have been ‘No’.