Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

Orange Hall attacks: No retaliation plea

The Grand Secretary of the Orange Order today appealed for no retaliation following two attacks on Orange Halls in Co Tyrone over the weekend.

In one attack, a hall at Ballinderry Bridge Road in Coagh was extensively damaged in a blaze.

Police are treating it as arson.

And in a separate incident, an Orange Hall outside Pomeroy was targeted. Vandals using chainsaws attacked the doors of the building.

Grand Secretary Drew Nelson described the incidents as “disappointing” and said that he hoped they did not mark a new spate of attacks on Orange Halls.

But he stressed that he did not want to see a tit-for-tat scenario.

Mr Nelson said: “There was a spate of attacks last autumn and winter which ended around February then over the summer there was a bit more vandalism but the arson attacks died out.

“We would be very disappointed if they have started up again.”

Mr Nelson said he did not know if the attacks were linked in any way to the Armed Forces homecoming parade in Belfast city centre yesterday.

Police in Cookstown are also appealing for information.

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