Europe

War memorial unveiled after Donegal Orange hall fire

memorial Image copyright orange order
Image caption Grand Secretary of the Orange Order,, Rev Mervyn Gibson , and Grand Master of the Orange Order, Edward Stevenson, pictured with the restored WW1 memorial

A restored World War One memorial which was damaged in an arson attack on an Orange hall in Donegal has been unveiled in a newly rebuilt hall.

The Orange hall in Newtowncunningham was destroyed in 2014. No one has ever been convicted for the attack.

The refurbishment cost hundreds of thousands of pounds.

The memorial tablet, dedicated to Donegal Orangemen who died in the 1914-18 conflict, was repaired as part of the restoration project.

'Delighted'

Stewart McClean, the District Master of Newtowncunningham Orange lodge, told BBC Radio Foyle: "It's been traumatic trying to find out what happened and piecing things back together again.

"The hall was insured but the insurance only helped us so much. It has cost us £600,000 to rebuild this hall.

"We got some help but it's been difficult."

Image caption The interior of the building was gutted and the roof was totally destroyed

Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, Edward Stevenson, said: "Halls like these are the backbone of our institution right throughout the country.

"I'm delighted to see this new facility open again so that it can be used by people from different communities.

"It's lovely to see the memorial back up where it belongs."

Image copyright Orange order
Image caption The new Orange hall re-opened on Friday

Firefighters from Londonderry and Letterkenny attended the blaze in 2014.

The hall had previously been damaged in a fire in 2009.

More on this story