A Fermanagh border Orange hall destroyed in an arson attack has re-opened its doors, exactly three years after it was targeted.
Inver Orange hall near Rosslea was completely gutted in the July 2011 blaze. Republicans were blamed for the sectarian attack. A year earlier vandals failed in an attempt to burn down the building.
The hall, which was used for a wide range of community activities, has been re-built following a major fundraising campaign, which included significant donations from Orange lodges as far away as London, Canada and New Zealand.
The dedication service on Tuesday night was attended by lodge members and senior Orangemen, including Fermanagh Grand Master Stuart Brooker, who officially re-opened the building. The hall was dedicated by the Rev Alan Irwin, lecturer of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland.
Mr Brooker recalled the “sadness” and “despair” in the immediate aftermath of the attack, but paid tribute to the determination and fortitude of the Orange fraternity in re-establishing such a vital community facility.
“The Protestant people in this area have suffered much during the Troubles and even now, in these times of so-called peace, they have had to endure a place so treasured, taken from them in a cold and calculated way,” he said.
“Many photographs and artefacts of sentimental value, irreplaceable, are lost forever. Lodge members have endured so much over the years, but they remained steadfast and resilient.”
Mr Brooker said the resurrecting of Inver hall was a further indication of the durability of Orangeism in the county.
Orange Order Grand Master Edward Stevenson said: “Inver Orange hall’s renewed presence is testament to the fortitude of the Protestant/Orange fraternity in border areas.” Since the Inver attack three years ago, there have been over 40 separate attacks on Orange property across the Province. So far this year, six halls have been targeted.