Belfast Telegraph

Security alert at Belfast Orange Hall declared a hoax

A security alert at an Orange Hall in west Belfast has been declared a hoax by police.

The Army bomb disposal team examined the object and determined it was not viable.

The Springfield Road has re-opened and residents have now returned to their homes.

The object was found in the grounds of Whiterock Orange Hall on Monday, former Belfast Lord Mayor Brian Kingston said.

The County Grand Orange Lodge of Belfast condemned those responsible for planting the device.

County Master Spencer Beattie accused the perpetrators of attempting to “intimidate” the local lodge and heighten tensions in the run up to the July period.

“Lodge members feel extremely hurt to be targeted in such a malicious fashion. 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,” Mr Beattie said.

“This attack while aimed at the Orange Institution, caused inconvenience and posed a danger to all communities. I would urge members of the public, who witnessed anything suspicious, to contact police immediately.”

PSNI Inpsector Wise appealed for anyone with information to come forward.

"Firstly, I want to thank the local community and, in particular, the people who had to leave their homes while we worked to make the scene safe," he said.

"I understand the frustration of the community and the disruption this has caused, but we are committed to keeping people safe - that is of paramount importance to us.

"I can see how the reckless actions of a very small minority of people who clearly don't care about the community have disrupted everyday life.

"Therefore I am appealing for anyone who can help identify the perpetrators and bring them to justice to contact us.

Anyone with any information about this incident is asked to contact police at Tennent Street on 101 quoting reference number 577 14/05/18.

Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime.

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