The Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland has condemned vandalism attacks on two Orange Halls over the weekend.
Sectarian slogans were daubed on the Orange Hall in the centre of Rasharkin. This is the fourth time this year that the hall has been the target for attack.
Paint was also thrown at the front of, our own, Belfast Orange Hall, at Carisle Circus.
Extensive work was recently carried out to enhance the appearance of the hall, which is the location for the start of the Belfast Twelfth Parade.
The Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland has also condemned recent attacks on Orangemen and their property.
Missiles were thrown at Orangemen taking part in the Whiterock parade on Saturday and over the weekend sectarian slogans were daubed on Greencastle Orange Hall.
In a separate incident, sectarian slogans were daubed on the car belonging to an Orange Order chaplain, attending an open air church service at Aghadavey, near Antrim.
The Orange Order said:
“There has been an upsurge in hate crimes against the Orange Order in recent days. We believe that intemperate remarks by leaders of the nationalist community have created an atmosphere , which is seized upon by criminal elements to justify their actions and attacks on Orange culture.
“Last November the SDLP’s Social Development Minister called the Orange Order ‘sectarian’ and a couple of weeks ago the Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness of Sinn Fein, talked about the ‘sectarian provocation’ of Orange parades.
“Remarks like these do not help the situation and we would call upon nationalist and republican leaders to use language more in keeping with their position in society.”
BELFAST CITY COUNCIL ISSUED THIS STATEMENT ABOUT THE ATTACK ON OUR HALL
Orange Hall attack condemned
A weekend attack on one of Belfast’s landmark buildings has been condemned by the council.
Paintbombs were thrown at the Belfast Orange Hall in Clifton Street on Friday evening.
The building currently is undergoing a comprehensive upgrade, as part of Belfast City Council’s ‘Renewing The Routes’ programme. The £30,000 scheme has included cleaning the façade of the building, removing the security grilles and upgrading the railings.
The weekend attack was condemned by Councillor William Humphrey, Chairman of the council’s Development Committee, who said:
“The restoration of the Belfast Orange Hall – a building of great historical and architectural merit – is a key element of our ‘Renewing The Routes’ programme in this area.
“Obviously, we are now going to have to make good the damage sustained in this attack: this will have implications not only for this particular project, but it will have a knock-on effect for other projects in the area, as we will have to find the money from other budgets.
“The renovation of shop fronts further along the Crumlin Road, together with a number of environmental improvement schemes, have been warmly welcomed by the local community, and it is a real shame that this mindless attack by a small minority, who do not represent that community, has damaged not only the Hall but also potentially these other projects, which have shown this part of Belfast in such a positive light,” concluded Councillor Humphrey.