Newry Orange Hall incident ‘an attack on the Protestant community’, blasts Irwin

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Tuesday, August 13th, 2013
An attack on an Orange Hall in Newry was an attack on the Protestant community as a whole. Those was the words of local DUP MLA William Irwin following the attack on the Robert L Mitchell memorial hall on the Downshire Road. Roof tiles were removed from the hall and the roof was then scorched during the Friday night attack. Paint was also thrown across the front of the building. Irwin said the attack was an attempt to stoke up tensions in the community. “Thankfully the hall was not more seriously damaged. “Orange halls are important community resources for many local people and groups, including the Orange Order, thus an attack on this building is an attack on the protestant community as a whole,” Irwin insisted. He added, “Hopefully those behind this attack can be caught and I would appeal for anyone who may have seen any suspicious activity to report it immediately to the PSNI.” In a statement, the Orange Order’s District Master Jonathan Wharton described the attack as ‘blatantly sectarian’. “Those who carried out the wicked deed, under the cover of darkness, should be ashamed of their actions. “Not content with their wanton vandalism, they clearly desired to reduce this long established and historic building to nothing but rubble and ruin – fortunately, they did not succeed. “If the culprits cared to look beyond their narrow-minded sectarian actions, they might realise that this district hall is actually used by a wide selection of community groups. Wharton added, “Indeed, it was those attending the weekly credit union who raised the alarm.”
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