Belfast Telegraph

Sinn Fein MLA slams sectarian hate attack on Orange Hall ahead of the Twelfth

By Michael Sheils McNamee

Sinn Fein MLA Declan Kearney has slammed a sectarian hate attack on an Orange Hall in Crumlin.

Police received a report that a bin had been set on fire outside the hall on Main Street in the Co Antrim town just after 4.30am on Thursday.

Sectarian graffiti had also been daubed onto the wall and door of the hall.

Chief Inspector Keith Jackson said: "This is being treated as a hate crime at this time, and our enquiries are continuing."

South Antrim representative Kearney said: "I unreservedly condemn the reprehensible attack on an Orange Hall in Crumlin during the early hours of the Twelfth."

He said the graffiti and arson attack were "clearly timed to cause maximum offence and hurt".

"Those responsible knew that members of the local Orange lodge would be gathering at the hall this morning to begin their annual celebrations," he said.

"There is no place for sectarianism in today’s society.

"Sinn Fein robustly defends the right for all sections of our community to peacefully and respectfully celebrate their culture. We have continually called for united political leadership to support a position of zero tolerance against all forms of sectarianism, bigotry and hate crime."

He added that the attacks are carried out by "unrepresentative, narrow-minded individuals" and he makes "no distinction between the bigots who carried out this attack in Crumlin, and the bigots who placed Sinn Fein and SDLP election posters on a bonfire a short distance away in Stoneyford".

Local DUP councillor Alderman James Tinsley said he welcomed the condemnation from Sinn Fein, but wanted to see action taken against those responsible.

"If anyone can expose who actually did it, that’s what I would like to see," he said. 

Anyone with information about the attack or who may have witnessed the attack is encouraged to contact police on the non-emergency 101, quoting the number 4409 with the date 12/07/2018.

Members of the public can also contact independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 55 111.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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