PSNI treating Orange hall graffiti as hate crime

Police are treating the graffiti on Glenavy Orange Hall, over the first weekend of 2020, as a sectarian hate crime. (Photo: Cllr Gary McCleave).
Police are treating the graffiti on Glenavy Orange Hall, over the first weekend of 2020, as a sectarian hate crime. (Photo: Cllr Gary McCleave).
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Police are treating terror-related graffiti on Glenavy Orange hall as a sectarian hate crime.

‘IRA’ was sprayed several times on the hall, which is on the village’s main street, over the weekend. Police said they are investigating a case of criminal damage.

Sergeant MacKenzie said the damage was done between 4.30pm on Friday and 4pm on Saturday.

“The incident is being treated as a sectarian hate crime at this time, and our inquiries are continuing,” the officer added.

“If you were in the area and noticed anything suspicious, or if you noticed anyone in the area of the hall we would be keen to speak with you.”

Sinn Fein MLA Declan Kearney hit out at those responsible for what he said was the second sectarian attack on the hall in recent times.

“This act of criminal damage upon the Orange hall in Glenavy is the second sectarian attack against the premises in six months,” he said.

“Those responsible are clearly trying to provoke division and tension in an area where community relations are very integrated. But I and other political and community leaders will ensure their toxic agenda will not succeed.

“The perpetrators represent nothing except sectarian bitterness and their actions are the opposite of Irish republican politics in the United Irish tradition. Sinn Fein will continue to stand up against sectarianism, regardless of its origin.

“Anyone with information about this attack should provide it to the PSNI, or make contact confidentially with Crimestoppers.”

Police appealed for anyone with information to call officers in Lisburn on 101 and quoting ref 937/05/01/20 or to leave information anonymously on Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.