an appeal has been made for witnesses to the demolition of the Harbour Orange arch at Curran Road last Wednesday evening.
The historic arch, which is understood to be at least 50 years old, is believed to have been smashed by a passing vehicle. The following morning, it was lying in pieces by the roadside.
Larne LOL No 1 District secretary, Mark McKinty, commented: “The arch, along with the Boyne Square and Glynn arch, are symbolic of the Orange tradition in Larne and are seen as artistic structures in their own right, with a lot of time, effort and pride being taken by the local organising committe at each location as they prepare, erect and celebrate their own arch.
“Very few lodges are forunate to have an arch, so while this is a big disappointment for all involved, and could incur additional expenditure for the committee, I have no doubt that they will have the arch repaired and erected and erected again for next year.
“Obviously, I would encourage anyone with information to contact the PSNI and assist them with their investigation, and I look forward to a positive response from the police on this matter,” he said.
“The Harbour arch was quite a simple structure with traditional Orange symboles, along with sea-faring symboles relevant to the local area, such as the boats on the top and the anchors which connect the Harbour area and its Orange connection to a ‘sure and steadfast faith’.” added Mr McKinty.
One local resident who contacted the Larne Times, spoke of his sadness at seeing the arch “lying in smithereens” by the roadside.
“It is sad to see something like this happen to an arch that was so very much part of the area. It was a real talking point for visitors who came to the area,” he said.