THE Worshipful Master of an Orange Hall in Aughnacloy has blamed people “from outside the locality” for an attack which, he claims, is a bid to raise tensions in the area.
An attempt was made to cut down a flag pole at Crilly Lodge on Friday night, July 25, and the Union flag was removed.
Worshipful Master Paul Bell described the incident as “an uncalled for act of sectarian hatred towards the Protestant community”.
“Crilly LOL has always shown great respect to our neighbours and we have never had any issues in the past, and we would like to know why we have been targeted”, Mr Bell told the TIMES.
“The Crilly area has great community relations and I have no doubt that this act has been perpetrated by people from outside the locality to try and raise tensions in the area. The Union flag is the flag of our country and everyone should respect it.
“I want to thank the PSNI for their quick response and to the local politicians for all their assistance over the weekend.”
In a joint statement, DUP MLA Maurice Morrow, Cllr Frances Burton and Cllr Wills Robinson, called for a “zero tolerance” approach to such attacks and said: “Two cutting tools had been left at the scene which the PSNI have seized for examination. We have spoken to the PSNI and asked for a thorough investigation and to catch the people responsible for this.
“This is not an isolated incident in the South Tyrone area and we want to see action taken by the PSNI to protect our Orange Halls within the Borough. These constant attacks on our culture and heritage are completely unacceptable and we would call upon all political parties to call for an end to the
attacks on Orange Halls.”