‘Sectarian hatred’ behind Rasharkin Orange hall attack

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 20th February 2016

General view of Rasharkin Orange Hall in County Antrim which was attacked with  graffiti in an overnight attack.
DUP Councillors Alan McClean and John Finlay are pictured with Finance Minister Mervyn Storey at the hall.

Picture by Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 20th February 2016 General view of Rasharkin Orange Hall in County Antrim which was attacked with graffiti in an overnight attack. DUP Councillors Alan McClean and John Finlay are pictured with Finance Minister Mervyn Storey at the hall. Picture by Press Eye.

Sinn Fein have led the condemnation of last night’s attack on an Orange hall in Co Antrim.

The hall at Rasharkin was daubed with sectarian graffiti relating to the anniversary of the Easter Rising.

It was the third attack on an Orange hall in as many days.

It has been condemned by all political parties.

Sinn Féin MLA Daithí McKay said; “This graffiti attack on an Orange hall in Rasharkin is totally wrong and I condemn it utterly.

“This was senseless action and does not represent the views of the local community in any way.

“The local community want to move forward and do not support his type of behaviour.

“I would urge anyone with any information on this incident to bring it forward to the PSNI.”

North Antrim DUP MLA Mervyn Storey, the Assembly’s Finance Minister, pointed out that Rasharkin Orange hall had been targeted many times in the past.

He said: “Regrettably yet again we have an other attack on Orange property. Rasharkin Orange Hall has over the years been subjected to this display of sectarian bigotry too many times.

“I echo the comments of the First Minster when she visited Strawletterdallon Orange Hall. It is important solidarity in condemnation is not just displayed in the aftermath of an attack. We regularly see opposition to Loyal Order parades. Its members are often described as sectarian and as bigots. Alongside the rightful condemnation of attacks on property, we need to hear condemnation of other attacks on the institution and its members also.

“I know that the majority of the community in Rasharkin have and will continue to condemn these attacks. Those who were responsible are a very small unrepresentative group who continue to live in the past and have nothing positive to offer the community of Rasharkin.”

TUV MLA Jim Allister added: “It is depressing to again see ugly sectarian hatred manifest itself again in Rasharkin.

“Clearly those desirous of extinguishing all culture but their own think it appropriate to try and tighten their squeeze on the minority unionist community in Rasharkin. Once more their bigotry speaks through their grotty graffiti.

“I salute the courage and determination of the local Orangemen who maintain their hall in the village. We shall not be moved.”