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'Nothing republican about it' - Martin McGuinness leads outrage over Orange Hall burning

The Taoiseach said the recent attacks were “utterly unwarranted acts of criminality.”

north-south-ministerial-council-meeting-23 Source: Niall Carson/PA

MARTIN MCGUINNESS HAS issued a scathing condemnation of last night’s apparent arson attack on an Orange Hall in Convoy, Co Donegal – the second such incident in three weeks.

The Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland was speaking in Dublin after a plenary meeting of the North-South Ministerial Council:

I am absolutely horrified and disgusted at the burning of these Orange Halls, both of which are a stone’s throw from my home [in Co Derry].
Whatever motivated these deeds, there was nothing republican about it.
There was nothing political about it, but there was a lot that was criminal about it.

20141003_110307 The morning after. This photo shows the extent of the damage done to the Orange Hall in Convoy, Co Donegal. Source: Cllr Liam Doherty

The Sinn Féin MLA for mid-Ulster called on the local community to help to restore both Orange Order halls.

The Presbyterian church in Convoy was also targeted last night, in what is understood to have been an attempted arson attack.

McGuinness was joined in his outrage by the Taoiseach Enda Kenny, who said the apparent arson attacks, were “utterly unwarranted acts of criminality.”

Earlier in the day, local Sinn Féin councillor Liam Doherty told TheJournal.ie the community in the Lifford area were “shocked” by the incident.

Even at the height of the Troubles we never had any issues with the Orange Hall. So why now?

This morning, the DUP’s Diane Dodds called it “a shameful act of intolerance.”

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Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan TD condemned the attacks, describing them as “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.

He called on anyone with any information to contact the Gardaí, concluding:

I wish to express my solidarity with all those affected by last night’s arson attack.

Fine Gael TD for Donegal, Dinnie McGinley, earlier condemned the destruction of the hall last night, which he stressed was used by everyone.

These deliberate actions are completely alien to our peaceful way of life in the country.
Both halls have been valuable social, cultural and recreational facilities in the community.
This is a criminal act and it is not to be tolerated by the people of Donegal.

Read: Another Orange Hall has been destroyed by a fire in Co Donegal>

Orange Hall in Donegal completely destroyed by arson attack>

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Dan MacGuill

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