Locals condemn arson attack on Donegal Orange Hall

Minister describes incident as ‘attack on the whole community in all of its diversity’

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan condemned attackers of Orange Hall as “intolerant cowards whose criminal actions destroyed a facility used by the entire community.” Photograph: Frank Miller

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan condemned attackers of Orange Hall as “intolerant cowards whose criminal actions destroyed a facility used by the entire community.” Photograph: Frank Miller

 

A suspected arson attack on an Orange Hall in Co Donegal, has been condemned by local residents and politicians.

The Orange Hall in Kiltoal on the outskirts of Convoy became engulfed in flames just before 4.30am yesterday.

Fire crews from Stranorlar and Letterkenny arrived at the scene. However, they were hindered by problems with the water pressure.

Although the fire brigade arrived within 15 minutes of being alerted, the roof of the hall was already on fire.

Local resident John Quinn expressed his shock at the incident and stressed that community relations in the area have always been “excellent”. The only previous incident at the hall was the breaking of a window about 30 years ago.

Minor damage was also caused to the Convoy Presbyterian Church yesterday morning and a Garda cordon was erected.

Church minister Rev Colin McKibbin said community relations were very good. He described the incidents as going “against the whole dynamic of our community”.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan condemned the “arson attack on Convoy Orange Hall, Co Donegal, and the vandalism at the nearby Presbyterian church. These were attacks on the whole community in all of its diversity, a community which so many people work so hard to sustain. The attacks go against the vision of a peaceful and reconciled Ireland set out in the Good Friday agreement and endorsed by the people of this island.

“Those who carried out the attacks, whatever their motive, are intolerant cowards whose criminal actions destroyed a facility used by the entire community.”