Page last updated at 11:16 GMT, Monday, 13 July 2009 12:16 UK

Sectarian attacks in north Antrim

Sectarian graffiti daubed on an Orange hall
Sectarian graffiti was daubed on an Orange hall in Rasharkin

There have been a number of sectarian attacks in the north Antrim area over the weekend.

An Ancient Order of Hibernians hall was broken into in the Rosnashane area outside Ballymoney on Sunday night.

Paint was thrown inside the hall and a number of musical instruments were damaged.

Meanwhile, a petrol bomb was thrown at an Orange hall at Main Street in Rasharkin on Sunday evening. It failed to ignite.

A 38-year-old man has been charged with attempted arson in relation to the attack.

He is to appear at Ballymena Magistrates Court on Monday morning.

Just before midnight on Saturday, two petrol bombs were thrown at a house on the Lisnahunshin Road in Rasharkin. These devices also failed to ignite.

Sectarian graffiti was also daubed on the Orange hall in Rasharkin over the weekend. This separate incident was reported on Saturday morning.

We need to see strong leadership from parents to ensure that young people are not being pulled in by outside influences
Daithi McKay, Sinn Fein

In Fermanagh, the Wattlebridge Orange Hall near Newtownbutler was smoke damaged after a tyre was set alight and placed against the wall of the property at about 0300 BST on Monday.

In a separate incident, the door of a church hall in High Street was damaged by vandals.

DUP MLA Ian Paisley said he spent most of Sunday in Rasharkin trying to bring calm.

"It has got to stop, there is no excuse. I think what we also have to see is the community rising up to that," he said.

"They will get support and if they know anyone involved in these attacks... they should give them over and allow the proper processes of law and order to take its course and put these people behind bars."

Sinn Fein MLA Daithi McKay said he believed a "handful of people" from outside the area were responsible for the attacks.

"Certainly in the case of Rasharkin, people are coming from outside the area to try and lead young people astray," he continued.

"So we need to see strong leadership from people living in the area and we need to see strong leadership from parents to ensure that young people are not being pulled in by outside influences."



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