Man, 31, arrested over priest bottle attack in Edinburgh cathedral and assault in Princes Street Gardens

A 31-year-old man has been arrested in the north of England after a priest was attacked with a glass bottle as he prayed in an Edinburgh cathedral.

Wednesday, 28th July 2021, 6:18 pm
Updated Wednesday, 28th July 2021, 6:27 pm
The priest was attacked as he prayed on Monday at St Mary's Catholic Cathedral in York Place. Pic: Google

Father Jamie McMorrin, 35, was praying alone at St Mary’s Catholic Cathedral in York Place when he was targeted at around 9.35am on Monday.

A statement released on Tuesday by the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh said the priest managed to fend off the attacker with a chair before they left the cathedral. The priest escaped without injury.

On Wednesday afternoon, a Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We can confirm that a 31-year-old man has been arrested in Cumbria in connection with an assault at a church on York Place in Edinburgh and a further assault at Princes Street Gardens.

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Father Jamie McMorrin, 35, was praying at St Mary’s Catholic Cathedral in York Place on Monday.

“The incidents happened around 9.35am and 9.45am on Monday, 26 July.”

The assault in Princes Street Gardens did not leave anyone injured.

Following the incident at the cathedral on Monday, deputy first minister John Swinney tweeted to say the bottle assault was a “terrible, frightening and totally unacceptable incident.”

Edinburgh City Council leader, Adam McVey, also described it as an “appalling attack” and said: “My thoughts are with the priest and glad he was physically unharmed in what must have been a traumatic experience.”

According to details published on the website for St Mary’s Catholic Cathedral, Fr Jamie McMorrin was born in Uddingston in South Lanarkshire and grew up in Kinghorn, Fife.

He studied History and International Relations at University of St Andrews and, after graduating, spent a year working for the Scottish Catholic Observer.

He trained for the priesthood at the Pontifical Scots College, Rome, specialising in Liturgy.

Fr Jamie was ordained in St Mary’s Catholic Cathedral by Archbishop Cushley in June, 2016.

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