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UUP's Billy Armstrong
"The hall is a mass of burnt timber"
 real 28k

BBC NI's Noreen Erskine reports
"The flames spread rapidly"
 real 28k

Saturday, 5 August, 2000, 16:33 GMT 17:33 UK
Orange hall destroyed in blaze
Police are investigating the cause of the blaze
Police are investigating the cause of the blaze
An Orange hall has been destroyed in an early morning fire in County Tyrone.

Police are investigating the cause of the blaze at the hall in Donaghmore near Dungannon.

According to local Orangemen, the hall was being renovated after being badly damaged in a fire last year.

Speaking on Saturday, Earl Charleton said: "Last May it was damaged in a fire.

"Members of the lodge had been working to repair it.

"Another three months and it would be ready for opening, but that will be put back for 12 months or more."

Vincent Currie: Believed hooligans were involved
Vincent Currie: Believed hooligans were involved
A local Social Democratic and Labour Party councillor living in the predominantly Catholic village said he believed hooligans started the fire.

Vincent Currie said: "I am simply disgusted.

"In a village like Donaghmore, where community relations have been excellent over the years, I think it is hooligans who have come in and torched the place.

"I have no doubt that the vast majority of residents in Donaghmore would condemn this outright and would not want anything to do with it."

The Ulster Unionist assembly member for the area, Billy Armstrong, said he had no doubt Saturday's fire was started deliberately.

Meanwhile, a Gaelic Athletic Association hall in Garvagh, County Londonderry has been damaged in an overnight fire.

The police said minor smoke damage was caused to the Sarsfield GAA hall on the Coolnasillagh Road.

Anyone who may have seen suspicious activity in the area between 2200 BST on Friday and 0630 BST on Saturday is asked to contact detectives in Coleraine.

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See also:

18 Jul 00 | Northern Ireland
Orange hall destroyed in fire
31 Jul 00 | Northern Ireland
Arson attack on family home
04 Aug 00 | Northern Ireland
Police probe arson attacks
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