Ulster Unionist Councillor Dessie Patterson has condemned those who left a hoax bomb at Newcastle Orange Hall on Wednesday evening.
Councillor Patterson said:
“I utterly condemn those responsible for leaving a hoax device outside Newcastle Orange Hall last night, causing considerable disruption and requiring a controlled explosion to be carried out.
This is quite simply a sectarian hate crime and yet another attempt to intimidate both members of the Orange Order and the Unionist community.
The people responsible are seeking to create and exploit tensions within the community in Newcastle and elsewhere in South Down. This cannot be allowed to happen and the entire community must unite in defiance of those who seek to divide us.
I therefore call on the entire community to give full support to the Police and to assist them in bringing the persons responsible for this attack before the courts where they must face the full force of the law.”