THE priest at the centre of a sectarian attack outside of his church has said a court ruling does not go far enough to address the problems facing Glasgow.

Canon Tom White was spat on outside St Alphonsus Church on London Road during last year’s Orange March.

A 24-year-old man was snared for the assault through a DNA sample taken from the back of the vestment worn by the priest.

Speaking after Bradley Wallace, from Uddingston, appeared at Glasgow Sheriff Court where he pled guilty to the assault on July 7, Canon White said the proceedings fail to “represent the totality of the crime”.

Read more: Thug Bradley Wallace admits spitting at Glasgow priest Tom White during Orange Walk

He added: “There was definitely more than one person that spat on me. While one person is taking responsibility for their part in it, it doesn't go far enough to address the bigger debate that needs to happen.

“Just using a label like sectarianism doesn't help in these instances - these crimes are specific and a blanket term of sectarianism does not identify it for what it was.

“We need to be more honest about the nature of the crimes. It was specifically an anti-Catholic crime and a hate crime.”

As previously reported by the Evening Times, police officers had been guarding St Alphonsus Church as a splinter group from the parade passed.

As a large scale disturbance broke out nearby, police were directed away from the church when the incident took place.

Wallace was not part of the parade or a member of the Orange Order but was described as a member of the public who had been associating themselves with the parade.

The priest is now calling for more action to be taken by police to protect residents who may be affected by events in a similar vein.

He added: “Those responsible for policing these marches need to take full responsibility for them.

“I think it's time that those responsible begin to have a meaningful reflection.

“There’s lots of things to be looked at. It was a very unpleasant chapter and there are elements of these parades that need to be looked at and considered.

“My personal and pastoral priorities are as such that I don’t have time to go on some kind of crusade.

Read more: Thug Bradley Wallace admits spitting at Glasgow priest Tom White during Orange Walk

"I don’t have the appetite for it - it’s not my job. There is others who are office bearers in the city who need to take stock of this.

"I want to get back to working in this community.”

Following the incident, the clergyman said he received an outpouring of support and sympathy that was not “refined to the Catholic community”.

He said: “It's not just me who has been impacted, there will be people from the Orange Order who would have felt that this young man did them a disservice as well because of the damage.”

Wallace, represented by John Coogan, had his bail continued by the sheriff and will be sentenced later this month.

Despite being personally affected by the attack, Canon White believes that a “punitive” sentence would not be beneficial to the individual.

He added: “When you apply penalties as such, they’re meant to be medicinal - they are not meant to be punitive.

Read more: Thug Bradley Wallace admits spitting at Glasgow priest Tom White during Orange Walk

“I just hope that whatever the decision is, that it makes someone turn round and think 'that's not how I would like to define myself in my attitude to others'.

“Hopefully after this episode, the individuals involved will arrive at the decision that it’s not actually acceptable to assault people because of their beliefs.”

Jim McHarg, Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland said: “Our approach has always been to have discussion and dialogue with communities to try and tackle local issues. 

"Rather than throwing more police at parades which only heightens tensions, we suggest diverting police resources to tackle those people who misbehave.  These types of followers aren’t welcome.  We don’t want them anywhere near us, and we’ll do our part to get that message out there as strongly as we can. 

“We believe that all groups in society, including our own, has the right to exercise the beliefs of their own religion and culture.  But with that right comes responsibilities.  People are welcome to come along and support our parades, but they should be respectful of the views and opinions of others.

“To move forward, we should be uniting as communities, including with those from different faiths, to find ways to tackle problems together with a single unified message.  We believe there is more to unite us than divide us and with a little tolerance and understanding of each other’s points of view, we can find solutions to problems where everyone is happy and communities remain united.”