Ballymascanlon Orange Hall, County Louth. Ballymascanlon Orange Lodge LOL 175 about 4 miles from Dundalk on the fringes of the townland of ‘Plaster’, was once part of the County Grand Lodge of Louth. The lodge originally had its first dedicated Orange Hall as far back as 1831, when it was built on land donated for the purpose by James Wolfe McNeill Esquire. It was quite possibly one of the first Orange Halls ever built. A live in housekeeper was engaged to keep it in good repair.
When the Orange Order voluntarily dissolved in 1836, the brethren of 175 continued to meet and socialise in the hall. It became news in 1845 when McNeill attempted to claim ownership of the hall. A court however deferred in favour of the lodge members. It was accidentally gutted by fire in 1887 and rebuilt- the fire being spotted by two local Catholic men who acted immediately to try and stop it spreading.
The County Louth Grand Lodge once boasted lodges in Dundalk, Collon, Drogheda, Ballymascanlon, Adavoyle (Armagh/ Louth border area), Tallanstown, Castlebellingham, Ardee, Drumcar and Ravensdale; as well as Omeath and Carlingford Lodges working in the Narrow-water Castle District of County Down; and a lodge from East County Meath! In the late 19th Century the Grand Lodge was still working. Other County Louth Orange Halls included Adavoyle and Dundalk. In 1900 Adavoyle transferred to Newry District, and with the demise of other lodges over the next 15 years, the County Lodge was wrapped up. Dundalk lodge too worked under Newry District for a few years before it too fell away.