28 October 2005

Orange hall is damaged in attack

BBC

An Orange hall in west Belfast has been damaged in an arson attack, according to police.

A window of the property was broken and flammable liquid was poured in and set alight sometime between 1900 BST on Thursday and 0730 BST on Friday.

The fire caused scorch damage to the hall and kitchen of the building.

A spokesman for the Order said the attack was a "deliberate attempt to stir up inter-community tensions in north and west Belfast".

DUP assembly member for west Belfast Dianne Dodd's said the attack was "clearly aimed at intimidating the local Orange brethren".

"I would urge community and political leaders in the nationalist community to come out publicly and condemn this wanton act of destruction," she said.

Sinn Fein and the SDLP condemned the attack on the hall.

West Belfast Sinn Fein Councillor Tom Hartley said: "Sectarian attacks on churches, schools, businesses and homes from whatever quarter are wrong and should be condemned."

SDLP Upper Falls Councillor Tim Attwood said: "There can be no excuse or justification for attacks of this nature."

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