Union flag taken down from Orange Hall near Dungiven and flagpole destroyed

Union flag
Union flag

A Union flag has been removed from an Orange hall near Dungiven, it has been claimed.

According to the Orange Order the flag was torn down from the roof of Ardinariff Orange Hall and the flag pole was also destroyed.

The incident at the property on the Drumrane Road is thought to have occurred during the early hours of Thursday.

A spokesman for Limavady District LOL No 6 condemned the flag theft as a “hate crime”.

He said: “The Orange community in Dungiven is disgusted at this deeply offensive act. This is clearly an attempt to increase tensions ahead of the Twelfth, but we would urge people not to retaliate in any way.

“This attack comes only weeks after a successful parade and fun evening, organised by local lodges, was held for a cross-community charity. Those responsible are clearly a minority who would rather drag us back to the past.”

The spokesman added this is the latest criminal act on Orange property in the locality, with neighbouring halls being subjected to vandalism in recent years.

The Ardinariff incident is the fifth attack on an Orange hall over the course of the last month in Northern Ireland. In the most severe of these, Ballytyrone Orange Hall in Loughgall was destroyed by arsonists last week.