Attack on Orange hall in Cookstown ‘was the second this year’

Orange hall attack
Orange hall attack

The Orange Hall which was targeted in Cookstown on Saturday night was attacked earlier this year, a local councillor has revealed.

UUP Councillor Trevor Wilson said: “This is an act of wanton vandalism which serves no useful purpose.

“It`s a shame that a hall could elicit such hatred in the minds of people who have nothing positive to offer the community.

“This is the second time that this hall has been attacked in the past year

“I would appeal to anyone who has information to contact the PSNI.”

Speaking from his office beside the Orange Hall, Mid Ulster MLA Ian McCrea said: “I utterly condemn those cowards who during the dark of night, smashed a window at the front of Cookstown Orange Hall.

“This is once again a further attack on our culture and the thugs who threw the stones have nothing to offer our society other than hatred and bitterness towards the orange and unionist tradition.

“This is the second attack on the Orange hall following a similar attack on 12 November 2013.

“It is hard to understand what people think they will achieve by smashing a window on an Orange Hall and it is important that anyone who may have been in the area and saw or heard anything, that they contact the Police immediately.”

DUP Councillor and Chairman of Cookstown District Council Wilbert Buchanan said:“It beggars belief that anyone would attack an Orange Hall and condemn those responsible for stoning Cookstown Orange Hall.

“This is nothing other than a hate crime and must be treated as such. It is vital that anyone who may have any information on this attack, comes forward to the Police straight away.”

Mid Ulster TUV Chairman Walter Millar condemned those responsible for the attack and said that “although an inconvenience it will not change anything as the windows will be replaced and the hall will continue to be used but as in so many other cases the money used to replace the windows will most likely come out of public funds and in a time where all Government Departments are facing cuts this money could be used to serve better purposes rather than replacing windows broken in acts of vandalism”.