POLICE today are investigating the third attack on the Orange Order in the space of three days. The latest incident took place last night in Crumlin, where three petrol bombs were thrown at Ballynadrentagh Orange Hall on the Diamond Road at approximately 11 pm.
Detectives say the missiles fell short of the building.
Last night's attack comes after fires at Orange halls in Portadown on Friday night and in Ballinderry on Sunday.
DUP south Antrim MP William McCrea today condemned the attack on Ballynadrentagh Orange Hall.
Mr McCrea said: "Attacks on Orange Halls are a blatant display of sectarian violence. Those who carry out such attacks know that they are delivering a blow right to the heart of the protestant community."
He said he believes a "clearly orchestrated campaign" is being waged by those who are "intolerant of the Loyal Orders and are intent on stirring up sectarian tensions within society".
Mr McCrea said: "Given the widespread nature of these attacks, I would call on the police to set aside resources to specially investigate these crimes – it is high time there was a zero-tolerance approach to such behaviour."
He added: "No right minded person wants these displays of hatred and bigotry."
Mr McCrea appealed to the general public to help police track down those responsible for the attempted arson attack.
The community, he said, has "a vital role to play" in ridding this type of sectarianism from Ulster's streets.
Meanwhile Drew Nelson Grand secretary of the Orange Order said there had been over 286 attacks on Orange halls since the beginning of the Troubles and upwards of 30 this year alone.
Mr Nelson told the News Letter:" This has been the worst ever year for attacks on Orange halls and it is clear that it is a very well organised and orchestrated campaign against the Orange Order".
He added: "We are now calling on the Chief Constable to make more officers available to protect Orange halls and catch the perpetrators of these crimes."
Ulster Unionist leader Sir Reg Empey said the large number of attacks on Orange halls was "blatantly sectarian".
Sir Reg said: "No other explanation is credible. Despite this evidence, the loyal orders face obstacles in obtaining compensation for these attacks."