Belfast Telegraph

Belfast bomb hoax won't 'intimidate' Orange lodge

An Army expert at the scene of the bomb alert in west Belfast yesterday
An Army expert at the scene of the bomb alert in west Belfast yesterday

By Rebecca Black

A senior Orangeman said his lodge will not be intimidated after a suspicious object was left in the grounds of Whiterock Orange Hall, sparking a security alert.

Part of the Springfield Road in west Belfast was closed yesterday afternoon as Army bomb experts examined the object.

The incident was later declared an elaborate hoax.

Belfast County Master Spencer Beattie accused those responsible of attempting to "intimidate" the local lodge, and heighten tensions in the run up to this year's parades.

"Lodge members feel extremely hurt to be targeted in such a malicious fashion," he said.

"They have been through all of this before with the hall being attacked on several previous occasions.

"We hoped such terror attacks were wedded to the past.

"Regrettably, it would seem there remains a minority intent on causing fear and division."

The Whiterock parade, which takes place next month, is traditionally one of the first of the summer, and previously saw protests which descended into violence. However, the event has been peaceful in recent years.

Mr Beattie also praised the actions of the security services for dealing with the alert in a "professional and efficient manner, ensuring the safety of the wider community".

Belfast Telegraph

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