Wednesday 6 July 2022
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Orange hall extensively damaged in arson attack

An Orange hall in Co Londonderry has been extensively damaged in an overnight arson attack.

The blaze at Salterstown Orange hall, near Ballyronan, was discovered during the early hours of Monday morning after the alarm was raised by a local resident.

The inside of the rural building has sustained substantial damage, with a lodge banner, collarettes and instruments of a local band destroyed.

A spokesman for Salterstown LOL 482 said: “Lodge members are in a complete state of shock. We are absolutely devastated that our property should be targeted in such a manner, and are simply crestfallen by the scene of devastation inflicted by the abhorrent individuals responsible.

“The hall has been a part of community life for over 100 years, serving as a meeting place for local groups, and its unavailability for a period will be keenly felt.

“Despite this major setback, the lodge and the wider Orange fraternity will rally around and ensure our hall is once again fully restored.”

A spokesman for the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland condemned the latest attack on Orange property and urged any witnesses to contact the PSNI as a matter of urgency.

A total of 21 Orange halls have now been targeted so far this year.

In response to the spate of attacks senior Orangemen are due to formally meet with the police in the coming days to discuss the situation.

The spokesman said: “The Salterstown incident once again illustrates there remains a minority in Northern Ireland society who are prepared to use violence to attack the Orange Institution. They must not be allowed to succeed.

“We would also make an appeal for calm right across the community, and in particular that there should be no retaliation whatsoever for this attack. We, as an Institution, would not wish any community to suffer from such violence, having sustained so many attacks on our properties over the years.”

Article taken from the Orange Order

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