Co Armagh Orange hall damaged in arson attack
An attempted arson attack on an Orange hall in Co Armagh has been condemned by DUP MP David Simpson as "another cold, callous attack on our culture and heritage".
The Upper Bann MP hit out after it was discovered that an oil tank at the rear of Muckery Orange hall, located near Derrytrasna, was deliberately set alight during the early hours of Sunday morning.
The attack caused scorch damage to the exterior of the Esky Road building.
Mr Simpson said, " I know the people of this area well and will be assisting them going forward. This attack demonstrates again that there is a continued desire by some to drag Northern Ireland backwards. These people did not succeed in the past and will not succeed in the future."
His party colleague Carla Lockhart called the attack "sickening".
"I am saddened to see such an attack on what is an excellent community facility in the area," she added.
"These nindividuals involved in this attack must be identified and face the full rigours of the law. It is clear that they came prepared to burn the hall to the ground. I would encourage anyone with any information to come forward to the PSNI."
The Muckery incident is the tenth reported attack on Orange property so far this year, and the four incident within the past month. The hall was destroyed in a previous arson attack in 1997.
An Orange Order spokesman condemned those responsible for the latest attack.
He said: “The lodge which meets in this Orange hall is very close-knit, with many relatives involved maintaining a family tradition within Orangeism which has spanned generations. Their culture and heritage should offend no-one. The perpetrators of this crime are not representative of the wider community, who overwhelmingly reject such wrongdoing.”
The Orange Institution has appealed for anyone with any information in relation to the Muckery attack to contact the police as a matter of urgency.
Recent attacks on Orange halls have included incidents at Wattlebridge, Co Fermanagh, and Glenavy and Derriaghy in Co Antrim.