Page last updated at 21:25 GMT, Friday, 5 June 2009 22:25 UK

Arson attacks on two Orange halls

Carrickawilkan Orange hall, Darkley
The Orange hall near Darkley was completely destroyed

A second Orange hall in County Armagh was attacked by arsonists overnight.

Police are investigating an attack on the Cladybeg hall on the Armagh Road in Newtownhamilton. Flammable liquid was sprayed over an outside wall.

It happened between 1830 BST on Thursday and 1130 BST on Friday. Scorch damage was caused to building.

The Carrickawilkan Orange Hall near Darkley was destroyed by fire on Friday morning. The Fire and Rescue Service were called to the blaze at 0100 BST.

Fire crews from Keady, Newtownhamilton and Armagh attended the blaze, but it was completely alight when they arrived.

Fire Commander Martin McStay said it took about an hour to get the fire under control.

His officers were not able to enter the remains of the hall to investigate the cause as the building was too unstable.

Police are treating the fire as "malicious".

In a statement from the Grand Lodge said the attacks were "attempts to create community tension".

"We would appeal for calm from all our members and our supporters. The way to deal with these attacks is to work with the police and help them find the culprits," it said.

The attack was condemned by Sinn Féin assembly member Cathal Boylan.

"I'm disappointed that actions like these are still going on in the area, and I would ask those people involved to desist from such actions.

"I believe there is a lot of good community work going on in the area and we will continue to work to stop these types of incident.

"We would support anybody who wants to practice their tradition and culture," he said.



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