Crude and sectarian graffiti was scrawled all over the front of an Orange Hall on the outskirts of Keady overnight.
The graffiti consisted of genitalia and references to the IRA.
UUP Councillor for Armagh, Sam Nicholson, who is a proud member of Crosskeys Orange Lodge and band, hit out at the “disgusting” attack on his local Orange Hall at Crosskeys Road, Keady.
He said: “I am totally disgusted at the low life thugs who under the cover of night have sprayed sectarian and offensive slogans across the front of my local Orange Hall, which is the home of Crosskeys LOL 88.
“It is a despicable act and abhorrent that anyone could stoop so low. Our local community feels violated by this incident and people in the area are shocked and saddened that there are those who would seek to inflict misery and heartache upon our lodge and our band.
“We simply want to be respected and be able to celebrate our Orange culture but clearly our very existence is too much for some who are so insecure in their own culture and identity that they feel the need to attack the symbols of others. This is nothing less than narrow-minded bigotry.
“It is not just an attack on bricks and mortar, this is an attack on Unionists and the Orange Order and the many people in the community who use this facility. I utterly condemn those responsible. There can be no place in society for this bitterness and hatred and it speaks volumes about the perpetrators.
“I have been in contact with the police to report this matter and also share the views and distress of the local community. I also call on all political leaders to condemn those who continue to attack Orange halls. It speaks volumes that this hall has to have security shutters across all its windows and doors in the first place.”
DUP MLA William Irwin said it was “sadly yet another example of hatred and sectarianism directed at members of the Orange Order within this constituency”.
He added: “I would ask those behind this sinister and unnecessary criminality to desist immediately. For anyone to spray paint over an important community resource is ridiculous but to spray IRA slogans is totally shocking.
“It is concerning that such an attack has taken place and it is only a few years since the hall was last targeted in a sectarian attack.
“I would ask anyone who may have witnessed any suspicious activity to contact the PSNI immediately and assist with their inquiries.”
Sinn Féin MLA Cathal Boylan also condemned the attack.
He said: “Those responsible do not represent the community. I would appeal to anyone with information about this vandalism to report it to the PSNI.”
Police received a report of criminal damage at approximately 9.45am this morning (Tuesday) that graffiti had been sprayed on the building sometime between 10pm on Monday night and this morning.
Enquiries into the incident, which is being treated as a sectarian hate crime, are ongoing, and anyone who may have witnessed any suspicious activity in the area, or who has any information which could assist, is asked to contact police in Armagh on 101, quoting reference number 442 29/11/22.
A report can also be made using the online reporting form via www.psni.police.uk/makeareport. Alternatively, information can be provided to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.