Belfast Telegraph

Orange hall roof damaged in attempted arson attack

By Lesley Houston

An Orange hall in rural Co Down has been damaged in an attempted arson attack thought to have involved a firework.

The roof of Legananny Orange hall near Castlewellan suffered damage in the incident, understood to have been carried out in the past week.

Tiles were removed and felt was torn from the roof of the isolated hall located in the Dromara hills.

A firecracker, a smashed bottle and toilet roll were found at the scene following the apparent attempt to set fire to the property.

It is thought the criminal act occurred in recent days, after being discovered by a contractor carrying out repair work.

An Orange Order spokesman condemned the actions of those responsible.

He said: "This is clearly a sinister development and a blatant attempt to destroy what is a community hub in a rural and isolated area of Co Down.

"Whether the perpetrators got cold feet, were disturbed or were simply slapdash in their illicit deeds, it is extremely fortunate their wicked intent did not materialise into the premeditated destruction of this hall."

The building is used by the loyal orders, an accordion band and members of the local community.

The spokesman said the attack "once again underlines the fact that there remains a minority in our society intent on maintaining a legacy of hatred" against the Orange Institution.

The spokesman appealed for anyone with any information about the incident to contact police immediately.

There have been a total of nine reported attacks on Orange Order property so far this year in Northern Ireland.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph