Appeal after Fourscore Orange Hall arson attack

POLICE are appealing for information following an arson attack on an Orange hall outside Glenavy, which had already been destroyed twice before, in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Arsonists stole a farm gate from a nearby field and then used it as a ladder to get onto the roof of Fourscore Orange Hall on the Garlandstown Road.

Tiles were then removed from the roof and flammable liquid was then poured into the building. Minor damage to the roof tiles and guttering was sustained to the property.

It is believed that the incident occurred sometime between the evening of Tuesday 27 and 5.30pm on Wednesday November 28.

The rural hall has been destroyed in two previous arson attacks and the latest incident comes after a series of attacks at the nearby Glenavy Protestant Hall over recent months.

Worshipful Master of Fourscore True Blues LOL 340, James Tinsley, condemned the actions of the would-be arsonists.

“While we are extremely fortunate that the fire did not take hold when set alight, there was clear intent to cause maximum damage and even destruction,” he said.

“The fact the perpetrators stole a farmer’s gate to gain access onto the hall roof only demonstrates their desire to complete their wicked deed.”

“This property is used by both sides of the community and indeed is hosting more cross-community events than ever before.

“We hope those involved will examine their consciences and realise their actions are not just an attack on the Orange culture and heritage, but on the entire local population.”

A spokesman for the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland called for anyone with information in relation to the sinister incident to contact police immediately.

Police would ask anyone who may have noticed any suspicious activity in the area or who has any information to contact them in Lisburn on 0845 600 8000. 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