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of the British Broadcasting Corporation

 

 

Thursday, 1 November 2007, 07:59 GMT
Orange Hall is destroyed in blaze


An Orange Hall in County Cavan in the Republic of Ireland has been destroyed in a fire.

Gardai have said they are trying to establish the cause of the blaze at Drumartin Orange Hall near Cootehill.

Drew Nelson, the Orange Order's Grand Secretary, said it was a small hall with an active working lodge of about a dozen members.

"They're a lodge which would be quite well involved in local affairs," he said.

"For instance one of the events they had in the hall this year was a fundraising event for the Holy Family School for handicapped children in Cootehill.

"Obviously that shows a lodge that is involved in their local community."

He said Order members in the area were becoming more involved in civic life in the Irish Republic and he had been contacted by the Irish government officials expressing their sympathy and support for the lodge.

Mr Nelson said that it was the third Orange Hall in the county to be destroyed out of 10 in the county over the last 20 years and that members in the area felt vulnerable.

"There's no doubt we'll rebuild this hall, as we've rebuilt every one of the 208 halls that have been subject to arson attacks during the Troubles," he added.