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Police remove pallets gathered for republican bonfire in west Belfast

By Lesley Houston

Published 06/08/2015

Scene in Divis area of Belfast yesterday after bonfire wood (top) was removed by police
Scene in Divis area of Belfast yesterday after bonfire wood (top) was removed by police

Material gathered for a republican bonfire in west Belfast was removed by police overnight.

The material for the anti-internment pyre in the Divis area of the lower Falls Road was taken away in the early morning operation.

Police and two lorries from Belfast City Council arrived at Divis Street at 5.30am and began to remove pallets.

The operation is understood to have been timed to avoid a repeat of scenes last year when police came under attack during a similar attempt to remove bonfire material.

Officers left behind an Irish tricolour left at the seat of the proposed fire.

In the past Orange banners and loyalist flags have been among the items that have gone up in flames on the bonfires marking the anniversary of the introduction of internment on August 9, 1971.

In recent years Sinn Fein has described the Divis bonfire as a magnet for anti-social activity. In 2013 eight PSNI officers were injured when a riot erupted.

Bonfire wood collections in the Divis area of West Belfast
Bonfire wood collections in the Divis area of West Belfast

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