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Orange Order anger at 'hate crime' as thugs snap hall's Union flagpole

By Staff Reporter

Published 17/08/2015

Ballinrees Orange Hall on the Windyhill Road in Coleraine with the broken flagpole
Ballinrees Orange Hall on the Windyhill Road in Coleraine with the broken flagpole

The Orange Order has condemned the theft of a Union flag from an Orange Hall near Coleraine.

The flag was torn down from the roof of Ballinrees Orange Hall and the flagpole it was flying on was also snapped off halfway down and removed. The incident is thought to have occurred during the early hours of Friday morning.

A spokesman condemned the flag theft as a "hate crime".

He said: "The Orange fraternity in both Macosquin District and Co Londonderry is disgusted at this deeply offensive act which is a blatant attempt to antagonise the pro-Union community.

"Those responsible are clearly a minority, with a sectarian mindset, who are determined to drag us back to the past. They must not be allowed to succeed." He called for witnesses to contact the PSNI.

It is the ninth attack on an Orange Hall over the past eight months. Four halls were attacked in one week in July. A hall in Rasharkin in Co Antrim was daubed with graffiti while another at Belleek near Whitecross, Co Armagh, had its spouting damaged.

Clifton Street Orange Hall in Belfast was targeted in a petrol bomb attack while Ballytyrone Orange Hall in Loughgall was destroyed in an arson attack.

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