CHIEFS at a skint council have been blasted for snubbing a £1,000 donation for a disabled day care centre – from the Orange Order.
Members of the Stirling Orange Hall offered the cash to the city’s Riverbank Centre to pay for exercise equipment for adults with “complex” needs.
But local authority bosses claimed they couldn’t accept it because the lodge was “not sufficiently inclusive”.
In a letter adult support and protection boss Phil Cummins said: “We’d like to express our thanks for your offer to donate £1,000 from your fundraising activities to the Riverbank Centre.
“But unfortunately we are not in a position to accept it.”
He went on: “We cannot be seen to endorse or benefit from an organisation when some might perceive as not being fully inclusive”
The move outraged Stirling Orange Hall chiefs who denied they were anti-Catholic – just “pro-Protestant”.
Chairman Billy Rattray said: “It’s unbelievable. We give to all kinds of good causes and in 2014 donated to Brucefield Children’s Home which is run by Stirling Council.
“This is the first time we have ever received a rejection like this from anyone.
“Given all the budget cuts we hear about from the council you would think they should be biting people’s hands off when they offer donations.”
He added: “Whatever some people’s perceptions might be we are not anti-Catholic, simply pro-Protestant.
“Our people just see a cause and want to be involved. All we want is that it goes to help whoever these charities feel needs help.
“I honestly thought my phone was going to go on fire when news of this got out.”
They were backed by Katie Cusack, whose disabled Celtic-daft son Ronan swam at the Special Olympics thanks to a cash raised by an Orange flute band.
She posted on the Stirling Orange Hall’s Facebook page: “I would like to say I’m horrified reading this letter.
“Hang your heads in shame Stirling Council for all groups are desperately in need of a good cash injection like this”.
A Stirling Council spokesman said they believed they were right to reject the money.
He said: “We have been clear that we felt it was not appropriate to accept this donation and have expressed our thanks to the Orange Lodge for considering the Riverbank Centre in their fundraising activities.
“It is a matter for the Orange Lodge to consider what other organisations they might wish to approach.”
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