Belfast Telegraph

IRA graffiti on Orange Hall is the work of bigoted and hate-filled few, say politicians

By Claire Williamson

An attack by vandals on an Orange Hall in Rasharkin, Co Antrim has met with condemnation.

The Orange Hall on Main Street was daubed with republican graffiti on Saturday between 9 and 11pm.

North Antrim DUP MLA Mervyn Storey said the attack was a reflection of "deep seated hatred" by a "small, unrepresentative group of individuals".

He said: "It is extremely sad that there are still people in the community who are offended by even bricks and mortar.

"This attack on the Orange Hall in Rasharkin is only a reflection of deep-seated hatred and bigotry by a very small, unrepresentative group of individuals.

"This incident nails the often quoted narrative by republicans that attacks such as this are only a response to some other event. Not so, this attack.

"Is this the respect and equality we often hear quoted by republicans?

"Clearly, someone is trying to provoke a response, but as always, I would encourage no-one to respond to this display of intolerance and bigotry."

UUP leader and north Antrim MLA Robin Swann said: "I am disgusted and disappointed, though not surprised that Rasharkin Orange Hall has been attacked again and painted with pro-IRA graffiti.

"The members of the lodge had recently painted the outside of the hall themselves, but those who are driven by hatred and the need for division couldn't let it alone."

Police have appealed for information in relation to the incident, which is being treated as a sectarian hate crime.

Belfast Telegraph

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