Major Orange hall struck by thieves who target its roof

Picture of Ron McDowell, prominent figure at Clifton Street Orange Hall, on its roof in September 2015.
Picture of Ron McDowell, prominent figure at Clifton Street Orange Hall, on its roof in September 2015.

The curator of one of the Province’s most prominent Orange buildings fears that his hall could now be stuck with a bill running into thousands of pounds after thieves stole lead from its roof.

The PSNI have said Clifton Street Orange Hall, which overlooks the Westlink and much of north Belfast, was targeted by thieves at some stage in the last several days.

The view across the Westlink from the massive Orange hall.

The view across the Westlink from the massive Orange hall.

The theft involved a “substantial quantity” of lead, said police, adding that it had been reported to them on Tuesday.

The 19th century hall had only recently seen work done on its roof to seal the building against water. Previously, rain had dribbled down the inside of some of its walls.

DUP MLA for North Belfast William Humphrey condemned the crime, and said it followed a similar recent theft at the Vine Centre on the nearby Crumlin Road.

Ron McDowell, curator of the hall, said the damage caused is “running into thousands”.

An image of metal on the roof from last year, after work was done to seal the building.

An image of metal on the roof from last year, after work was done to seal the building.

He told the News Letter: “After an initial refurbishment costing £138,000, this has set back all other work initiatives at the hall during the interim period.”

Asked if the insurance will cover the cost of the damage and the lead substitute which they now plan to use, he said: “At the minute it’s a hall bill. Although we hope to source the cash elsewhere eventually, we aren’t optimistic.”

For more about the hall and its recent refurbishment programme, see this story.