Northern Ireland news

Police treat graffiti attack on Glenavy Orange hall as sectarian hate crime

The letters 'IRA' were spray painted onto the building. Picture by Gary McCleave/ Twitter

GRAFFITI daubed on an Orange hall in Co Antrim is being treated as a sectarian hate crime by police.

The letters 'IRA' were spray painted on the building on Main Street in Glenavy some time between 4.30pm on Friday and 4pm on Saturday.

A police spokesman said: "The incident is being treated as a sectarian hate crime at this time, and our enquiries are continuing."

The hall has been targeted previously, including an attack last July when jars of white paint were thrown at the building.

Sinn Féin South Antrim assembly member Declan Kearney said those who carried out the attack "represent nothing except sectarian bitterness".

"Those responsible are clearly trying to provoke division and tension in an area where community relations are very integrated," he said.

"But I and other political and community leaders will ensure their toxic agenda will not succeed."

Alliance councillor David Honeyford described it as "yet another pointless and ridiculous attack".

"An attack like this is an attack on the entire community in Glenavy," he said.

"Orange culture is part of what makes up Ireland and should be respected by everyone."

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