Northern Ireland

Orange Hall in Cloughmills targeted in paint attack

Rosedernat Orange Hall Image copyright Press Eye
Image caption Police have said they are treating the incident as a "hate crime"

Paint has been thrown over an Orange Hall in Cloughmills, County Antrim, in what police described as a hate crime.

The attack on Rosedernat Orange Hall on Lislaban Road is believed to have happened between 23:30 BST on Saturday and 11:30 BST on Sunday.

Also on Sunday, a union flag was stolen and a flag pole was damaged at Roden Orange Hall in Kilkeel, County Down.

Police are investigating a possible link to similar thefts of union flags at addresses in Kilkeel at the weekend.

'Bigoted'

Several flag poles were damaged when flags were stolen between the Manse Road and Knockchree Avenue on Saturday night.

Officers have appealed for witnesses.

In a statement, a Grand Lodge spokesman confirmed senior members would be raising hall security with the PSNI.

"These latest attacks, though separate, are yet further examples of the intolerant sectarianism displayed by a minority who continue to manifest their hatred towards the Orange Institution, by attacking our properties on a regular basis," he said.

"Although the nature of the incidents is clearly different - the criminal intent is very much the same by the bigoted and narrow-minded individuals responsible."

Sinn Féin North Antrim MLA Philip McGuigan condemned the attack: "Sectarianism is wrong no matter where its source and sectarian attacks like this need to be condemned by us all."

He added those responsible "have nothing positive to offer the local North Antrim community".

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