Overnight attack on rural Orange Hall condemned
An overnight attack on Rasharkin Orange Hall has been condemned.
UUP leader Robin Swann said he was "disgusted and disappointed though not surprised that Rasharkin Orange Hall has been attacked again and painted with pro-IRA graffiti".
He added that members of the lodge had "recently painted the outside of the hall themselves, but those who are driven by hatred and the need for division couldn't let it alone".
"It is not suprising as there is a small group within the village who are hell bent on raising tension at this time of year while the majority of the village just want to live and let live," he added.
UUP Councillor Darryl Wilson added that "unfortunately tolerance and respect are qualities which are still lacking in a minority of individuals hell bent on threatening and intimidating others within their own community".
He added that in a few weeks the Ballymaconnelly band parade is due to take place within the village of Rasharkin and "I have no doubt that this weekends attack was designed to heighten tension in the area, especially as the parade has passed off relatively peacefully for the past number of years".
"Sports halls, church and orange halls are important parts of our local infrastructure and should never be subjected to graffiti or damage," he said.
TUV leader Jim Allister said: "Yet another sectarian attack on Rasharkin Orange Hall illustrates the relentless hatred of republicanism towards their Protestant neighbours."Please spare us the regrets of Sinn Fein, because, again it is support for their IRA which is proclaimed on the hate graffiti. And in just a couple of weeks Sinn Fein, along side the 'dissident' sympathisers, will line up to protest the local Ballymaconnolly band walking along the Main Street."This latest attack is but a precursor to that occasion when republican intolerance towards anything British and Protestant will be on full display."
A PSNI spokesman was not available for comment.