‘HATE CRIME’

Rasharkin Orange was was attacked in the early hours of Sunday morning. PICTURE MCAULEY MULTIMEDIA
Rasharkin Orange was was attacked in the early hours of Sunday morning. PICTURE MCAULEY MULTIMEDIA

Police are treating an attack on Rasharkin Orange Hall as a hate crime.

The hall was daubed with graffiti during an incident which occurred sometime between Saturday night and Sunday morning.

Rasharkin Orange was was attacked in the early hours of Sunday morning. PICTURE MCAULEY MULTIMEDIA

Rasharkin Orange was was attacked in the early hours of Sunday morning. PICTURE MCAULEY MULTIMEDIA

Superintendent John Magill said: “It was reported that at some time overnight (Saturday/Sunday 4/5th July), a number of unknown persons painted graffiti onto the walls of an Orange Hall.

“I would ask anyone who noticed any unusual activity in the area or who has any information to contact police at Coleraine Station on 101.

“Or, 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.”

There has been cross-party condemenation of 
the incident.

North Antrim Sinn Féin MLA Daithí McKay said: “This was a mindless attack on the Orange Hall in Rasharkin and in no way represents the views of the people that live here.

“A lot of work takes place to ensure that tensions are not raised here over the summer period and this will 
continue regardless.

“This attack does nothing but bring the name of the village down. Those who carry out these attacks 
represent nobody.”

TUV MLA for North Antrim Jim Allister said: “Right on cue to stoke up tensions before the Twelfth republicans have again attacked Rasharkin Orange Hall with their hate filled slogans.

“The intolerance and aggression shown to the minority unionist culture in the village demonstrates, yet again, the bigotry of those who cannot contemplate the idea of shared space, either by peaceful parade along the main street or in leaving the Orange Hall alone.

“Let those in the community who truly condemn these actions see to it that all relevant information on the perpetrators is given to the PSNI.”

Deputy Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Cllr Darryl Wilson said: “I was bitterly disappointed to learn that Rasharkin Orange Hall had been vandalised on Saturday night.

“Hate crimes such as this are designed to heighten tension as we approach the annual 12th of July celebrations. I would urge anyone with information to contact the PSNI immediately.”

UUP MLA Robin Swann said: “I appeal strongly to the Protestant Unionist Loyalist community not to be sucked into any tit-for-tat republican agenda.

“Equally importantly, I urge anyone with information on what the PSNI have already described as a hate crime to pass whatever details they can to the police so that the people responsible can be arrested and brought before the courts.”