Increased resources urged for police after Orange hall attack in Cloughmills

A call has been made for police to be given additional resources to increase patrols around Orange halls in the North Antrim area.

Thursday, 27th July 2017, 4:13 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 11:47 am
Paint bomb damage to the Orange hall on Lislaban Road in Cloughmills. Picture by Brian Little / Press Eye

It comes from UUP leader Robin Swann MLA in the wake of the latest attack on loyal orders property in the constituency.

Police are treating as a hate crime an incident on Saturday, July 22 in which two paints bombs were thrown at Rosedernott Orange Hall outside Cloughmills.

Mr Swann, a Past Master in both the Orange and Black Orders, said: “Given the very peaceful and successful Twelfth which the community enjoyed, I totally condemn this attack on another of our Orange Halls, many of which are used by all sections of the community.

“It is absolutely deplorable that vandals should spoil what was a very peaceful Twelfth by indulging in this scandalous anti-social behaviour which is only designed to heighten tensions.

“I appeal to everyone in the community not to rise to the bait of these vandals and anyone with information should immediately give it to the police so that these vandals can be brought before the courts.

“In the meantime, the police need to be given additional resources so that they can increase patrols around Orange Hall to stamp out this mindless vandalism,

Police believe paint bombs were thrown at Rosedernott Orange Hall sometime between 11.30 pm on July 22 and 11.30am the following day.

A Grand Lodge spokesman expressed sadness over a total of eight reported attacks on Orange property in Northern Ireland this year and confirmed senior members would be raising hall security with the PSNI.

North Antrim Sinn Fein MLA Philip McGuigan also condemned the incident as a “sectarian”. He added: “Such attacks have no place in our society and need to stop. I would appeal to anyone with information on this attack to report it to the PSNI.”

Anyone with information about the attack is asked to contact Ballymena Police on 101.