Vandals burn Union flag erected on Orange Arch

Concrete barrel supports belonging to arch of Loughbrickland District LOL No.10, were pushed over  in the early hours of Sunday morning.  � Photo: Gary Gardiner.
Concrete barrel supports belonging to arch of Loughbrickland District LOL No.10, were pushed over in the early hours of Sunday morning. � Photo: Gary Gardiner.

Vandals set fire to an Union flag erected on top of a Orange Arch and kicked barrels painted red, white and blue in Loughbrickland at the weekend.

The incident happened during the early hours of Sunday morning in Scarva Street.

The latest incident comes after vandals daubed white paint over a plaque commemorating King William’s journey across the River Bann at Dunbar’s Bridge, Banbridge earlier this month.

Keith Murdoch, Worshipful District Master of Loughbrickland district, told the Leader that he had been left “disappointed” by the actions of the prepetrators.

“Efforts had been made to make the arch look really well this year, given Loughbrickland is hosting the Twelfth. We’ve never had it look so well.

“It’s disappointing. I think it was a case of (the vandals) thinking it’s Saturday night, drink had been taken.

“The Union flag was removed from the top of the arch and burnt on the pavement beside the arch. Barrels were also kicked over,” said Keith.

Hours earlier, Loughbrickland had hosted a parade while the Loughbrickland Rural Development Association held a fete.

“We’ve never had as a big a turn-out as we did on Sunday,” revealed the Worshipful District Master. “It was a brilliant fete and down at the Orange field we had members of the public there who wouldn’t have normally gone to that type of thing before.”

He added that the damage had now been rectified. “We’ll have it (the arch) looking good for the Twelth. The weather’s on our side and we’ll carry on regardless.”

A police spokesman confirmed to the Leader that officers were investigating the incident:

“Police in Banbridge are appealing for information following anti-social behaviour in the Scarva Street area of Loughbrickland.

“Sometime in the early hours of Sunday, supporting barrels of an arch were pushed over. The arch was still safe and supported.

“Anyone with any information about this incident is asked to contact Banbridge Police Station 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,” he said.

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