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Augher Orange Hall petrol bomb attack

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Augher Orange Hall petrol bomb attack thumbnailPolice are treating the attempted arson attack at the Orange Hall on Saturday morning as a hate crime.

POLICE are treating an attempted arson attack at Glenagreeagh Orange Hall, Augher as a hate crime.

A device, thought to be a petrol bomb, was thrown at the front door of Glenagreeagh Orange Hall near the village of Augher during the early hours of Saturday morning.

The petrol bomb failed to ignite properly and minor damage was caused to the building, which hosted a gospel concert only hours before the criminal act.

PSNI Inspector Marie Stinton confirmed they received a report that the remains of what is believed to have been a petrol bomb were found outside an Orange Hall in the Glenhoy Road area.

A spokesperson for the Orange Lodge has condemned the attack and said the incident was another example of "intolerant sectarianism".

"The mindless idiots responsible offer nothing to society - only heartache and division. Their senseless actions must be universally condemned.

"This is a deeply regrettable and disturbing incident which had the potential to destroy a valued community hub and symbolic cultural building. It is only as a consequence of the amateurish actions of those responsible that we are not dealing with a much more serious occur rence," they added.

The Glenageeragh incident is the second time this month an Orange Hall has been targeted in Tyrone following a separate paint bomb attack at Aughintober, near Dungannon.

Ulster Unionist Councillor Robert Mulligan, a local resident and lodge member, said he is hugely disappointed at the development.

"It is unfortunate that we still live in such an intolerant society, that lacks total respect for another culture. This hall was used by the wider community in the Augher area, where I know this recent attack will have impacted on a number of residents nearby.

"The Hall serves the Church and the wider community as a focal point for various needs as well as the local lodge and pipe band. It has not attracted such unwanted attention before. Community relations in the area are good and it is my prayer that that will remain the case.

"While I am unhappy about what has happened, I trust the misguided person or persons involved will rethink their mind-set and take a more positive approach to life," said Cllr Mulligan.

Ulster Unionist Assembly Member Rosemary Barton deplored the second attack in as many weeks.

"With this being the second Orange Hall in South Tyrone in two weeks being targeted, it is obvious that there are still people who have hate in their hearts towards the unionist community.

"Although the damage was minor, those behind this incident have nothing to offer our society, and deserve to face justice," Mrs Barton added.

Police are appealing for witnesses and information on the attack to contact the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference 557 of 24/03/18.

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