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Attack on GAA club in Moy condemned by Orange Order

By Adrian Rutherford

Published 05/04/2016

Connell Donnelly inside the gutted interior of his fitness suite at Moy GAA Club
Connell Donnelly inside the gutted interior of his fitness suite at Moy GAA Club

The Orange Order has condemned an arson attack that destroyed a GAA club in Moy.

The fire at Tir na nOg GAC started at around 11pm on Sunday.

A gym at the club had previously been targeted by arsonists but has now been devastated in the weekend blaze at Benburb Road.

The clubhouse was badly damaged in a separate arson attack last September.

The PSNI said extensive damage was caused to the building in Sunday's fire.

It is believed the premises had been open for less than two months.

Gym owner Connell Donnelly said the facility had been destroyed.

He said it appeared to be a "sectarian arson attack".

"We are still unsure what happened and why it happened but it's not just an attack on me, it's an attack on the whole community," he said.

He added: "Unfortunately there are people who still do things like this, but all they have done is taken a small community and made it even stronger."

The Grand Secretary of the Orange Order, Drew Nelson, said an arson attack on any property is wrong.

"However, attacks on buildings closely identified with one or other side of the community have the potential to escalate both community apprehensions and tensions," he added.

"The Orange Institution wants to see a Northern Ireland where no-one feels a need to engage in such despicable activity.

"We would urge anyone with any information regarding both of these incidents to contact police immediately."

Following the attack on the Tir na nOg clubhouse last September estimates indicated that the blaze caused around £20,000 worth of damage.

Old photographs and club memorabilia were destroyed by the blaze.

A fundraising drive by the club and community resulted in the recent opening of the new premises.

Sinn Fein Assembly election candidate Michelle Gildernew condemned Sunday's attack.

"This is a club that is at the heart of the local community and I know that local people will be shocked at what has happened," she said.

"Sadly this is not the first time the club has been targeted and I hope they will be able to rebuild as soon as possible."

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