Belfast Telegraph

Protestant hall targeted in 'despicable' paint attack

Glenavy Protestant Hall. Credit: James Tinsley
Glenavy Protestant Hall. Credit: James Tinsley

Police are investigating a sectarian hate crime after an Orange Hall was attacked with paint.

Criminal damage at Glenavy Protestant Hall was reported to police at 10am on Monday morning.

It is believed that jars containing paint were thrown at the building sometime overnight between Sunday and Monday.

South Antrim MP Paul Girvan described the incident as a "hate-fuelled attack".

He said that it was 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".

"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," the DUP MP said.

"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."

Local DUP councillor James Tinsley described the attack as "despicable".

"Very disappointed after a very successful 12th in Glenavy," he said.

Alliance councillor David Honeyford said that he "utterly condemned" the attack.

"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."

PSNI Superintendent Davy Beck 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. 

"If you were in the area and noticed anything suspicious or you noticed anyone in the area of the hall or indeed if you were passing through the village and you have any dash-cam footage my officers would be keen to speak with you.

"Please call officers in Lisburn on 101 and quote reference number 434 22/07/19."

Information can also be provided anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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