Release Date: Monday, 14th February 2011
The District Master of the Orange Order in Limavady Borough has called for an end to mindless and sectarian attacks on Orange Halls in the area. Speaking following a second attack within the last month, he said each time an attack is made on a hall; it is an attack on both the Orange and Unionist community and their culture.
Edenmore Orange Hall is the latest hall to be targeted by vandals, having been broken into sometime between Thursday and Friday of last week. The District Secretary Jonathan Holmes spoke with the Lodge concerned and has confirmed that a fire extinguisher was set off inside the hall causing interior damage and a new drum that had only just recently purchased been by the Edenmore Flute band was also damaged.
This is the second occasion that the hall has been attacked in this way in the past year and on previous occasions the Union flag which flies throughout the summer from the hall has been stolen.
The District Master for Limavady District James McCorkell has expressed his concern that this is the second hall in the Borough to have been targeted in the last few weeks. At the start of February Largy Orange Hall was also broken into, thankfully no major damage was caused, even though access to sport was gained.
Last year in the run up to the Twelfth of July extensive damage was caused to Limavady Orange Hall, when windows to the front of the hall in Catherine Street were broken. James McCorkell stated that local Orange halls are a vital asset to the community living around them, with various activities and services being run from them on a daily basis such as Credit Union, bowls and tennis matches, musical, craft and dancing tuition.
He went on to appeal to the entire local community to ensure that all such attacks cease immediately. He explained there are real concerns within the Orange family and the wider Unionist community that the attacks could be viewed as a concentrated effort to raise tensions throughout Limavady in the run-up to some major demonstrations due to be held in the town in the coming year.
He said there are those who had attempted in recent years to make Limavady Borough a cold house for the Orange/Unionist community. Their efforts will come to nothing he declared; the Orange family is a determined and resolute body of people and the celebrations of the coming months will prove to everyone, that the Orange spirit remains strong in both Limavady and County Londonderry, despite the repeated and varied attacks on its culture and people.
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