Belfast Telegraph

Anger as thieves target Orange Hall for second time this year

By Christine Carrigan

One of the most prominent Orange Halls in Belfast has been targeted by criminals for the second time this year.

Thieves have taken so much lead from the historic Belfast Orange Hall on Clifton Street in north Belfast that the roof is starting to leak.

It is unknown when the second theft took place, but the crime came to light last weekend after heavy rain fall which caused water to pour through the roof of the over 130-year-old building, causing damage to ceilings, walls and carpets.

North Belfast DUP MLA William Humphrey condemned the theft, branding those responsible for the crime as "shameless".

He said: "It is appalling that the hall has been targeted for lead theft once again, for the second time within a year.

"These shameless thieves care nothing for the internal damage caused to buildings as a result of their crime.

"As is always the case in such incidents, the value of the lead stolen is negligible compared to the cost of replacing it and repairing the consequent damage to the historic building."

As a result of the latest theft, all lead has now been removed from the outside of the building and replaced with substitute material.

Mr Humphrey said the hall is popular with tourists and groups keen to learn more about the loyal orders.

"My party colleagues and I will continue to work with the hall management committee to see this important cultural centre, which is over 130 years old, protected for future generations," he said.

The PSNI said this is the 10th reported attack on Orange Order property this year and appealed for anyone with information to come forward.

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