Another Orange hall vandalised in run-up to Twelfth

The graffiti at Dysart Orange Hall
The graffiti at Dysart Orange Hall

The letters “IRA” have been spraypainted in black on the wall of a rural Orange hall in the south-east of the Province.

It is thought the damage to Dysart Orange Hall – part of Newry District – was caused overnight between Sunday July 10, and Monday, July 11.

It is not the first time the hall has been attacked.

One member of the lodge, who has asked not to be identified, said that about five years ago the hall was covered with extensive graffiti including slogans such as “f**k the Orange b******s, kill the Orange b******s – that kind of nonsense”.

The man, who is now in his 30s and who has been a member of the lodge for around 17 years, also said that efforts appeared to have been made to smash the glass above the door, which bears the lodge’s number – LOL943.

“There’s bullet-proof glass above the door,” he said.

“There were a few bottles smashed [against it].

“They maybe thought it was only an ordinary glass window – they’ll not break bullet-proof glass.”

The hall stands on Glenvale Road, between Newry and Rathfriland.

He said the area is extremely religiously mixed, and that a Catholic convent stands nearby.

The area’s two main religious communities enjoy good relations, he said, leading him to believe that “outsiders” were responsible.

Asked his reaction to the incident, he said: “I was very much angered and disappointed.

“We’d ask for no retaliation. We should respect each-other’s halls.”

PSNI sergeant Kenny Gracey said: “This is being treated as a sectarian hate crime and I would appeal to anyone who was in the area and may have seen anything suspicious, or anyone who has any information that could assist in our investigation, to contact police on 101.”

It comes just one days after the News Letter reported on the latest incident at this Orange Hall.

Similar vandalism had taken place at other halls in recent weeks.