AN Orange hall targeted by metal thieves has suffered a further blow with tens of thousands of pounds worth of damage from heavy rain.
Drumlough Orange Hall in Rathfriland, Co Down, underwent renovation earlier this year.
There was also a sectarian attack in July when republican graffiti was daubed on an entrance wall.
But on Tuesday two would-be metal thieves left a hole in the roof when they were discovered trying to plunder it for lead.
Worshipful Master Derek McDowell, of Drumlough LOL 153, said the new wooden floor of the main hall was covered in water when he arrived yesterday morning.
Ten members and friends of the lodge spent the day cleaning up the damage, but Derek said he fears the hall will be unusable for the lodge and other community groups for a period of time. A breast cancer fundraiser event planned for tomorrow will also be disrupted.
“Upon starting to clear the broken slates from the roof we found that the felt and lathes had been removed above the valley around four feet up the roof, which would suggest the culprits were perhaps trying to gain entry as well. We would estimate the damage will run into thousands of pounds,” he said.
“The sheer audacity of those involved knows no bounds and it was only by sheer coincidence that the perpetrators were caught in the act.”