Belfast Orange Hall Again Paint Bombed

As the 'marching season' reaches its height with next week's 'Twelfth' celebrations looming, tensions have again been rising with the Orange Order reporting that one of its main halls in Belfast has been repeatedly attacked.

The Order said bottles containing paint were last night thrown at the hall in Clifton Street for the third time this week.

It will be a major disappointment for the Loyal Order which recently benefited from a major spruce-up of the hall.

Included in the revamp was an imaginative move to take off protective fencing around the iconic building - which is traditionally the start and finish point for the main Twelfth demonstration every year.

The façade of the historic building was put back to its former glory and has now been three times vandalised inside a few days.

The hall is a building with significant architectural merit and includes Belfast's only equestrian statue.

The work undertaken included removing the entrance railings, façade cleaning, decoration and the removal of the protective barriers outside.

A local Sinn Féin representatives has condemned the incidents.

Speaking specifically on the Clifton Street attack Carál Ní Chuilín said: "This has no justification behind it other than blatant sectarianism. Let me make it clear - sectarianism has no place in north Belfast.
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"The Orange hall has just had restoration work on the front carried out as part of the arterial route scheme which is designed to improve the appearance of our neighbourhoods. The removal of security shutters and cages on the building was a move in the right direction.

"Given the work that was done to have paint spattered over the front of the building for purely sectarian reasons is completely unacceptable and those behind the attack have no right to do this."

The recently installed Chairman of the Northern Ireland Policing Board, Barry Gilligan, has expressed his hope for a peaceful Twelfth and urged continued dialogue to resolve issues around parading.

"The attacks in recent days on churches, GAA and Orange Order premises and the threats made to minority ethnic groups show that there are those in our community trying to heighten tensions.

"They must not be allowed to do so and the cross community condemnations of these incidents is to be welcomed," he said.

"In the last few years, the hard work of many community and political leaders has delivered a peaceful period and I hope that through this dialogue work, this year's parades will pass without incident," he concluded.

See: Council To Spruce Up Belfast Orange Hall

See: Threats To Ethnic Groups


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