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Arlene Foster condemns 'sick' attack on NHS banner outside Dunloy Orange Hall

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The damaged NHS banner in Dunloy

The damaged NHS banner in Dunloy

The damaged NHS banner in Dunloy

First Minister Arlene Foster said damage caused to a banner supporting the NHS outside Dunloy Orange Hall was a "sick" attack on the men, women and children who use it.

Police have appealed for information after damage was caused to the banner on Wednesday, May 6.

The banner read "Thank you to all NHS staff & essential workers together fighting Covid-19" alongside an image of the union flag, which was removed in the attack.

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The damaged NHS banner in Dunloy

The damaged NHS banner in Dunloy

The damaged NHS banner in Dunloy

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NHS banner in Dunloy

NHS banner in Dunloy

NHS banner in Dunloy

"This is a sick sectarian attack by people who consistently target the Orange Hall in Dunloy," said Mrs Foster.

"It’s not an attack on bricks and mortar or in this case an NHS banner, it’s an attack on the men, women and children who use the hall."

Policing Board member and DUP MLA Mervyn Storey also condemned the attack.

"Even in the midst of an unprecedented public health crisis, when the vast majority of the community is pulling together, Dunloy Orange Hall continues to be a target.

"It was displaying support for our NHS. Narrow-minded & sinister people behind this attack," he said.

TUV leader Jim Allster added: "This pandemic has seen people come together for the good of the entire community and there are countless examples across north Antrim of people going the extra mile to ensure that people are receiving the support they need in challenging times.

"Yet even in the midst of a pandemic there are those who cannot hide their bitterness and narrow minded bigotry. This was graphically illustrated when a banner supporting the NHS and essential workers erected at Dunloy Orange hall was vandalised just hours after being erected this evening.

“The nation in National Health Service is the United Kingdom whose flag the vandals took such exception to. This is an attack not just on the long suffering unionist community of the village but on the entire NHS and the key workers others wanted to show support for.

"Those responsible for the attack should be ashamed of themselves and I trust they will be brought to justice.”

Police are appealing for anyone with information to contact them on 101 and quote serial number 1862 - 06/05/2020.

Belfast Telegraph