Orange order "disgusted" following suspected arson attack

The PSNI were called to an Orange Hall on Martins Lane in Newry after a number of tyres were placed against the rear of the building and set on fire

Police in Northern Ireland are appealing for witnesses following a fire at an Orange Hall on Martins Lane in Newry.

The PSNI received a report shortly after 7:15pm yesterday evening that a number of tyres had been placed against the rear of the building and set on fire.

Damage was caused to the eves of the property as a result of the incident. Smoke damage was also caused to the interior of the building.

PSNI officers are working to establish a motive for the incident and are appealing to anyone who may have noticed any suspicious activity in the area or anyone who has any information about this incident to contact the PSNI in Newry.

The Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland condemned the suspected attack adding that the hall was the target of previous arson attempts in 1996 and 2005. 

An Orange Order spokesman said members of the lodge were “disgusted” at the suspected attack.

“This is a truly sickening incident and one which clearly had a clear sectarian motive,” he said. “The moronic hate-filled individuals responsible are a blight on the local community and ought to be ashamed of their actions.”

“Such naked bigotry should not be acceptable - yet, the continuous cycle of attacks on Orange property is reflective of the unending demonisation of the Institution, still very much prevalent in today’s society.

"This is intolerable and must not be allowed to continue.”

The spokesman praised the actions of fire service personnel, and also appealed for witnesses to contact police as a matter of urgency.