‘Mindless morons’ condemned for twin Orange Hall attacks

Tanvally Orange Hall was also targetted sometime on Thursday night �Edward Byrne Photography INBL1627-230EB

Tanvally Orange Hall was also targetted sometime on Thursday night �Edward Byrne Photography INBL1627-230EB

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There’s been condemnation this morning of the “mindless morons” behind an overnight attack on two Orange Halls in the area.

Republican graffiti and paint was daubed on the exterior of both Tanvally Orange Hall, at Glebe Road and Tullyconnaught Orange Hall at Drone Hill Road, Corbet during the early hours of this morning.

Tullyconnaught Orange Hall at Corbet was the target for a graffitti attack sometime on Thursday night �Edward Byrne Photography INBL1627-231EB

Tullyconnaught Orange Hall at Corbet was the target for a graffitti attack sometime on Thursday night �Edward Byrne Photography INBL1627-231EB

Given the close proximity of the two - less than five miles apart - it’s believed the attacks were orchestrated.

Chief Inspector Davy Beck said: “We are investigating both incidents as sectarian hate crimes and we would like to hear from anyone with information. Please call 101, quoting reference 178 01/07/16.”

An Orange Order spokesman said the attacks were all the more sickening for coming on the centenary of the Battle of the Somme and such “cowardly crime” was in stark contrast to the bravery of those who sacrificed their lives 100 years ago.

“These were clearly coordinated and deliberate criminal acts against the Orange Institution and what it stands for,” he said. “The mindless morons responsible for such callous sectarianism ought to be ashamed of their actions and must be held accountable.

“Their sinister exploits are in no way reflective of the excellent community relations in the Banbridge area, and indeed the members of both lodges are particularly active in their locality.

“The entire community must now unite in condemnation of these incidents.”

The Orange Institution has appealed for anyone with any information in relation to the Tanvally and Corbet attacks to contact the police as a matter of urgency.

The double incident follows an attempted arson attack at Muckery Orange Hall, in Co Armagh, last weekend and brings to 12 the number of Orange halls targeted this year so far.