The paper version of the Newsletter carries news of the extension of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme. But the Newsletter notes that, “GAA facilities will not be covered since the new legislation does not include properties that are used for sporting or commercial use”. The problem doesn’t orginate solely in the huge number of attacks on Orange Halls so much as a switch in policy amongst the world’s insurers following the 9/11 attacks. Stephen James, of the Association of British Insurers, speaking to an ad hoc Assembly Committee at the beginning of October:
The problem with community halls, and particularly Orange Halls over the past 12 to 15 months, is the possibility that three halls within a mile and a half of each other could be attacked during one night, which would not be a normal insurance risk. We are trying to bring community halls back under normal insurance risks so that they can be rated properly by the insurance company.
Hmmm… When you consider the attacks have been ratchetted up considerably in the period since 9/11, the idea that the attacks were strategically motivated, if not organised doesn’t seem that far fetched… With the closing off of this weakness; perhaps a joint visit to the next attacked hall (be it Orange or GAA) by the First and Deputy First Ministers might just seal the deal?
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty