Page last updated at 13:56 GMT, Thursday, 27 November 2008

Orange hall's presidential visit

Mary McAleese and her husband Martin visited Brakey Orange Hall in County Cavan
Mary McAleese and her husband Martin visited Brakey Orange Hall in County Cavan

Mary McAleese has become the first Irish president to visit an Orange Hall.

Brakey Orange Hall near Baillieborough in County Cavan re-opened two years ago after it was destroyed in an arson attack.

County Grand Master Henry Latimer described Mrs McAleese's visit as "very significant".

She said she was delighted to be in the presence of "a good Cavan man, a good Irishman and a good Orangeman."

"Perhaps here in Brakey Orange Hall this morning it's a good time and place to acknowledge how far we have come in the last 10 years, since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement and to pledge that the journey of peace-building andpeace-making will and must continue," continued the president.

She also appealed for an end to the targeting of Orange halls and GAA clubs, insisting Ireland should embrace its diverse history.

Mr Latimer praised the President and her husband Martin for the support he said they had given the Orange Order in the Republic.

"Halls like this one we are in today are held very dear by the Orange family," he said.

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