Northern Ireland news

Orange Hall paint attack treated as `hate crime'

Glenavy Orange Hall has paint thrown at it. Picture by the DUP

A PAINT attack on an Orange Hall in Co Antrim is being treated as a "hate crime".

Officers received a report of criminal damage to the hall at Main Street in Glenavy at around 10am on Monday.

It is believed that jars containing white paint were thrown at the building overnight.

Superintendent Davy Beck, District Commander for Lisburn and Castlereagh, said he had spoken to several community representatives.

"What is clear to me is that no one wants to see this type of activity in Glenavy," he said.

He appealed for anyone with information to contact police.

DUP Alderman James Tinsley condemned those responsible.

"It is truly despicable that anyone would attack a property with paint and set out to ruin a building within the community," he said.

"We have just celebrated a very peaceful and successful July 12 in Glenavy. It is disappointing that there are those within the community who would seek to raise tensions. However they will not succeed.

"It is welcome that there has been widespread condemnation. This incident is not indicative of the hard working people who live here."

Sinn Féin south Antrim assembly member Declan Kearney said the attack was an act of criminality and "clearly aimed at provoking sectarian tensions".

"Those responsible have no positive contribution to make towards promoting mutual respect or enhancing community relations in south Antrim. Such criminal attacks incite fear and distrust. I condemn these actions unreservedly and call on the local community to stand together against any attempts to foment community divisions in Glenavy," he said.

Ulster Unionist councillor Ross McLernon said it was a "disgraceful attack".

"It was a despicable thing to do and is designed to try and stir up division. It is especially discouraging given how the Twelfth parade through the village passed off peacefully and harmoniously," he said.

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