The Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland has condemned arson attacks on two Orange Halls in County Armagh during the night.
Carrickawillen Orange Hall, near Darkley, was destroyed by fire and there was also an attempt to break into Cladybeg Orange Hall near Newtownhamilton. A fire was started at the rear of the hall but burnt itself out, causing minimal damage.
And the Orange Order has revealed that there was an attempt to burn Newcastle Orange Hall 12 days ago. Minor damage was caused on that occasion.
A statement from Grand Lodge condemned the attacks as attempts to create community tension.
“We would appeal for calm from all our members and our supporters. The way to deal with these attacks is to work with the police and help them find the culprits.
“There must be people in the area who have valuable information about who is carrying out these attacks on our culture. Now is the time for all right-thinking people to condemn the attacks and pass on any information they have to the police.”
The latest incidents bring to 298, the number of arson attacks on Orange Halls since 1971. Seven halls have been targetted by arsonists this year.