The homepage of the Irish Catholic website was hacked and replaced with a blue and white screen which read “Site off-line. You. Got. Taken”. The hacker’s message went on to say “And wish you to continue beliveing [sic] in your false religion”.
An investigation is now underway into who is responsible for Sunday night's hacking.
The Irish Catholic newspaper, established in 1888, is Ireland’s largest and best-selling Catholic newspaper.
Speaking to Journal.ie, Garry O’Sullivan, the managing editor of the Catholic site, said they were not put off by the hacking.
He said “I’ve been dealing with and talking about child sex abuse for the last ten years so it puts everything into perspective. It just means we need to put up our security.”
The false blue and white screen, created by the hackers, popped up when the news site’s IT department restarted the site’s server while dealing with another issue.
O’Sullivan said “The IT department said that they restarted the server and that [page] was in the background and it popped up again. It looks like a residue from a previous issue. But obviously it is of concern that somebody has been hacking the site.”
He continued “The Irish Catholic and our readers have put up with a lot more over the last few years than hacking.”
Feeling optimistic about the incident O’Sullivan said the fact that the hackers chose their site “is a testament to the profile of the paper” but added that “any idiot can slag off a person for their religious beliefs”.
“I would prefer they write a letter to the editor with a more reasonable argument.”
Earlier this year 300 subscribers details from “The Irish Field”, own by the same publishing house as “The Catholic”, were hacked and released.