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Orange hall damaged by paint bomb in 'cowardly and hate-fuelled' attack


The damage caused to Glenavy Protestant Hall in a paint-bomb attack

The damage caused to Glenavy Protestant Hall in a paint-bomb attack

The damage caused to Glenavy Protestant Hall in a paint-bomb attack

Those behind the sectarian paint-bombing of an Orange hall are "hate-fuelled", an MP has said.

Criminal damage at Glenavy Protestant Hall was reported to police at 10am yesterday.

And Sinn Fein urged people to "stand together against any attempts to foment community divisions" in the Co Antrim village.

It is believed jars of paint were thrown at the Main Street building overnight on Sunday/Monday.

Orange Order Co Antrim Grand Secretary Billy Thompson said: "We are very disappointed that some people are prepared to resort to such sectarian attacks, particularly as this incident comes on the back of similar attacks over July period."

South Antrim DUP MP Paul Girvan condemned the incident.

"The hate-fuelled paint attack on the Glenavy Protestant Hall is a sad indication of the mentality of a small and an ever-more isolated group of anti-unionist cowards and should be strongly condemned by all," he said.

"This attack is not indicative of the nature of good people of Glenavy who will rightly be deeply angry that their peaceful village has been cast in this light.

"The Twelfth period in the Glenavy area was markedly peaceful, which makes this attack all the more tragic. I will be making contact with PSNI about this matter, to press the need to apprehend those responsible, and will be making representations to Lisburn and Castlereagh Council to have the paint removed from the hall as soon as possible," he added.

Sinn Fein South Antrim MLA Declan Kearney "unreservedly" condemned the attack.

"This attack on the Protestant Hall in Glenavy village was a hate crime, an act of criminality and clearly aimed at provoking sectarian tensions," he said.

"Those responsible have no positive contribution to make towards promoting mutual respect or enhancing community relations in South Antrim. Such criminal attacks incite fear and distrust.

"I condemn these actions unreservedly and call on the local community to stand together against any attempts to foment community divisions in Glenavy."

Alliance councillor David Honeyford said he "utterly condemned" the incident.

"A pointless attack on the entire community that only leads to further division," he said.

"Glenavy is a village that is a fantastic living example of what a shared future can look like, and I find it disgusting that a small number of individuals would choose to attack the hall in our village.

"Orange Culture is part of what makes up Ireland and should be respected by everyone."

Superintendent Davy Beck, District Commander for Lisburn and Castlereagh District, said: "I have spoken to a number of community representatives in the area and what is clear to me is that no one wants to see this type of activity in Glenavy."

He appealed for anyone who noticed anything suspicious to call officers in Lisburn on 101 and quote reference number 434 22/07/19, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Belfast Telegraph