Published Monday, 22 October 2012
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.