Newry Orange Hall damaged by suspected arsonists
Shortly after 7.15pm police received a report that a number of tyres had been placed against the rear of the building and set on fire.
Damage was caused to the eves of the property as a result of the incident. Smoke damage was also caused to the interior of the building.
Sinn Féin Newry & Armagh Assembly Election candidate Conor Murphy condemned the attack on Altnaveigh Orange Hall.
He stated, “This attack on Altnaveigh Orange Hall was wrong and I condemn it. If the objective was to cause community division I am confident that this will not happen.
“These attacks are no different than attacks on GAA halls, churches and other cultural and community facilities and must be rejected by everyone. I would encourage anyone with any information on this attack to bring it forward to the PSNI,” he added.
Danny Kennedy, Ulster Unionist Assembly candidate for Newry & Armagh, and Councillor David Taylor both expressed their disgust at the attack.
Danny Kennedy said, “I condemn this hate crime which is deliberately timed by some republicans to raise tensions in the area in the run up to the election. The strategic position of Altnaveigh and its history clearly continues to play on the twisted and bigoted minds of those responsible for this attack.”
Councillor David Taylor said, “The attack on the Orange Hall is a very sinister attempt to intimidate members of the local Orange Lodge. Altnaveigh Orange Lodge is very well renowned and widely respected within the Newry area and all right thinking people will offer strong condemnation of the attack.
“I am very confident that the members of Altnaveigh Orange Lodge will stand firm against this intimidation and appeal for anyone with information on the attack to report it to the police as soon as possible,” he added.
Police say they are working to establish a motive for the incident and are appealing to anyone who may have noticed any suspicious activity in the area or anyone who has any information about this incident to contact officers in Newry on 101, quoting reference number 1126 25/02/17.
Alternatively, if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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