Derry City and Strabane Ulster Unionist Party Councillor, Derek Hussey, has condemned the recent attacks on Strawletterdallon Orange Hall just a few miles outside Newtownstewart in County Tyrone.
The Ulster Unionist representative for the Derg Electoral Area said “At lunchtime on Thursday (February 18), following an initial attack on Strawletterdallon Orange Hall on the Wednesday night, I had been on site to view for myself the damage inflicted on this well used Community Facility in our rural area.
“It was obvious that substantial force had been used as the windows and doors are of high quality in regard to their protective ability resultant from a previous arson attempt on the Hall in 2011.
“It was with disbelief and dismay that I then got word late on that same Thursday night of a further attack against the Hall with more windows being damaged.
“On contacting the local Neighbourhood Police Inspector I was assured that they would be giving additional attention to the area and that they are rightly treating these incidents as hate crimes.
“These incidents aside, there has been concern in regard to rural crime generally and I trust that the authorities will ensure that police resources are available and sufficient to assist in the proper protection of our rural areas.
“I urge that all help be given to police in their efforts to apprehend those bigots from within the community who have committed these hate crimes.
“This Orange Hall whilst being home to the local Lodge is also a Community Hub used by family and friends of the Lodge together with many other organisations across a broad spectrum of the rural community in the area both young and old.”
Alderman Hussey concluded by adding “The sheer vitriolic and venomous mind-set of those carrying such actions does not bear thinking about and their wanton sectarian vandalism must surely be condemned by right thinking people of all persuasions as they represent nothing but pure hatred. “Such actions against Orange Halls over the years have generally strengthened the resolve of their occupants and I have no doubt that the community using Strawletterdallon will respond similarly in their situation and I wish them every success into the future.”