Orange Hall attacked for fourth time

Published Monday, 22 October 2012
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A hall used by the Orange Order in Glenavy, Co Antrim, has suffered smoke damage in an arson attack.

Orange Hall attacked for fourth time
The hall has been attacked for the fourth time in a year. (© UTV)

The incident happened at Glenavy Protestant Hall in Main Street at around 3.40am on Monday.

It is believed two tyres were placed against the front door of the building and were set alight.

Damage has been caused to the door, while the facade and interior of the hall were smoke-damaged.

The hall was the target of a previous arson attack earlier this year, and has also been paint-bombed on two occasions.

An Orange Order spokesman said: "This latest deliberate attack in Glenavy - the third since the Twelfth - appears to be part of an ongoing campaign, which is becoming more serious and sinister in its nature, against the Orange culture and heritage in south Antrim."

Given the recent spate of attacks on Orange property across the province, we would urge the police to devote more resources towards the prevention and detection of such hate crime against the Protestant community.

Orange Order spokesman

The Glenavy incident is the second attack on Orange property within the space of a week, according to the spokesman.

Ulster Unionist MLA Danny Kinahan said he was "shocked and angry" that another attempt had been made to set the hall on fire.

"I know that the vast majority of the local community in Glenavy and throughout South Antrim wants nothing to do with such activities and simply wish to live in peace and harmony with all of their neighbours," he said.

"The only way we will build a shared future is by respecting each other's culture and rejecting those who would seek to divide us and exploit the very tensions which they themselves are trying to create and heighten.

"For the benefit of everyone, I would appeal to anyone who saw any suspicious activity in the vicinity of the hall in the early hours of Monday morning, or who can assist the police in any way, to come forward immediately."

Sinn Féin MLA for South Antrim, Mitchel McLaughlin, also slammed those responsible and called for information to be passed to police.

"The attempted burning down of the Glenavy Orange hall is nothing but a sectarian action which is to be condemned outright," he said.

"It is the fourth attack on this hall in a number of months and serves no purpose but to heighten tensions and attempt to damage the good community relations in the town."

Lisburn police have asked anyone who noticed any suspicious activity in the area or who has any information to contact them.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
21 Comments
Been There Done That in NI wrote (641 days ago):
What would you have the police do????? Post armed guards on every hall in the country every night during the hours of darkness. Then you'd all be complaining that there weren't enough police available for other duties. That's not the answer and you know it.
bob in belfast wrote (643 days ago):
theres so many attacks against orange order halls and never anyone charged with doing these crimes across northern ireland,the police need to do more to protect these halls not only because its crime and a disgrace but because of the potential that some republicans are trying to stir upa lot of sectarian trouble in partsof the country again
Danny in Ulster wrote (643 days ago):
@give&take - the point I was making is I don't believe its a lack of police resources, more like a lack of interest/effort from the PSNI... As regards the attacks on the family in N'ards,99.9% of people in N.Ireland, including protestants/loyalists are disgusted by these sort of attacks on women & children in their own home regardless of their religion.
GIVE & TAKE in REAL WORLD wrote (643 days ago):
@Danny...which part of..."This is totally wrong and achieves absolutely nothing!"... do you not understand!!!! This is a clear condemnation of what happened. The other point was made in response to the demands made in the article for more police resources.... If the PSNI dont have enough resources its not helped by the 4000+ 'loyal' order parades including several contentious ones which are a major drain on available resources ... hence the need for give and take.... DUH!
ms terious in lisburn wrote (643 days ago):
this hall was a community hall bedore an orange hall - people should respect other religions and people too.
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