Dunloy Orange Hall attacked just hours after slogans painted out

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VANDALS daubed sectarian graffiti on the walls of Dunloy Orange Hall - just 24 hours after it was repainted following previous attacks.

The damage was believed to have occurred on July 12 while Orangemen were taking part in a Twelfth parade at Ballycastle.

Slogans including ‘IRA’ and ‘Up the Ra’ were written on the walls, which had been newly-painted after the previous graffiti.

DUP councillor John Finlay, who is the Worshipful Master of Dunloy Orange Lodge, was one of the members who had re-painted the hall.

He said: “I am absolutely appalled that in less than 24 hours after members of the Orange Lodge had finished painting the hall it was attached again with sectarian slogans.

“Some of the slogans were “Brits out” “up the IRA”, “Get out” and “Up the RA” that were painted over the newly decorated hall. So much for all the effort of the lodge in trying to improve the appearance of the hall and the village. It is quite obvious that unfortunately there is still a number of people from Dunloy who do not want a Protestant or an Orangeman about the place.

“This cannot be allowed to continue and we need three things to happen. We need people to give evidence and this act was done in broad daylight so obviously someone seen something and we need them to give evidence to the PSNI.

“Secondly, we need the PSNI to take firm action when the evidence comes forth so that these people are brought to justice. Thirdly, we need the PSNI to pay more attention to the on-going attacks on Orange Halls and take firm action in trying to find those responsible for these deeds. “The Orangemen in Dunloy are very angry with what seems to be happening in Dunloy. Orangemen have to abide by every letter of the law, yet Republicans who commit these deeds seem to be immune from prosecution. We cannot have two laws and we need to see all men equal under the law and all men subject to the law,” said Cllr Finlay.

North Antrim Tradtional Unionist Voice MLA Jim Allister labelled the painting of IRA slogans on Dunloy Orange Hall on 12th July, while the Lodge members were at the demonstration in Ballycastle, as “the latest outpouring of republican bile against the local Protestant community.”

In a statement Mr Allister said: “It is notable that the slogans used proclaimed support for the IRA, not dissidents, indicating that the supposed IRA/Sinn Fein talk of equality and a shared future is utterly bogus. It’s still the same intolerant belligerence which shapes the republican mind.

“Choosing the very time when the Orangemen were celebrating the Twelfth to commit this hate crime and besmirch the hall with their IRA slogans, was itself an attempt to proclaim who rules in Dunloy.”

The incident was also condemned by Sinn Fein’s Daithi McKay.

A PSNI spokesman confirmed police were investigating the latest vandalism.

Anyone with relevant information should contact them on 08456008000 or the Crimestoppers charity on 0800555111.