‘Attacked because I’m a Pagan Priest’

By Ciara Quinn

A verbal attack on a ‘Shamanic priest’ in a popular West Belfast shopping centre is being treated as a hate incident by police.

It’s believed to be the first time that an attack on a victim describing hiimself as “pagan” has been dubbed a hate incident by the PSNI.

Patrick Carberry, proprietor of the Silent Oak spiritual healing outlet in the Park Centre, told the Andersonstown News of the extraordinary incident on Saturday afternoon.

 

Shopping

Patrick said that Silent Oak has been in the shopping centre since June and that nothing untoward has happened up until the weekend, when the verbal attack was launched.

“I am a Shamanic priest,” said Patrick. “I am a pagan and offer practice, divination, holistic healings, readings and massage here.

“I was working at the front of the business on Saturday, just on my laptop, when a guy was all of a sudden right in my face yelling at me demanding to know ‘Who gives you the authority to be here?’ He kept shouting ‘Don’t you be putting a curse on me’ and ‘I’m really glad I rattled your soul.’ He said I was evil and I was ‘going to get it’ whatever ‘it’ was. To say I was the victim of a verbal assault is putting it mildly.

“I asked a man to watch the shop as I tried to go find security. I went to get the guards and this guy walked out of the shop. I was able to follow him and he got into a white van and I got the registration number.

“I had all the witnesses here on Saturday but when I phoned the PSNI they told me they couldn’t come out until Wednesday (yesterday). That is a big lapse of time to be dealing with an incident like this.

“Basically I was just attacked because of my religion, because I’m a pagan and I feel let down by the lack of action that was taken to find this man.

 

Tolerant

“Silent Oak has been set up to help everyone, I’m tolerant of everyone no matter what their beliefs. I sell incense and rosary beads here – I take each person as I see them. You should be able to be steadfast in your beliefs without this happening to you.”

Patrick, who shares the unit with blind psychic/ clairvoyant Sharon Neill, praised the Park Centre and its staff for their support.

“Since we first opened the centre has been very accommodating and helpful, they were again on Saturday and I hope this doesn’t happen again.”

A spokesperson for the PSNI said it was being treated as a “hate incident” and inquiries continue.

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