Belfast Telegraph

Loyalist bonfire thugs bring misery to Belfast cancer patient having chemotherapy

By Allan Preston

A cancer patient tormented by a loyalist bonfire in Lisburn has revealed how police asked her if she had considered leaving her home on the Eleventh Night.

The woman from the Ballymacash area, who said she did not feel safe being named, stated that the pollution and anti-social behaviour around the bonfire each year was making her life a misery.

"The bonfire is absolutely huge, it's about 100ft," she said.

"Last year I called police. People at the bonfire play music until three or four in the morning as they get more drunk. I'm also certain that they burn tyres which produce thick smoke.

"The police asked me if I had thought of going away for the night, but I said: 'I would if I wasn't having chemotherapy'.

"As I look out my window now, there are boys out collecting money for it.

"You hear people on the radio saying 'the people here don't mind, it's their culture', but I feel afraid to say anything against it and I've quite a few neighbours who feel that way too."

Commenting on the matter, the PSNI said while it was not the lead agency on bonfires, it would take all complaints seriously.

It added: "We will fully investigate any complaints in relation to breach of the peace, allegations of anti-social behaviour, criminal damage or disorder in relation to bonfires and where we are aware of a crime being committed, an investigation will follow."

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