Belfast Telegraph

Police remove pallets gathered for republican bonfire in west Belfast

By Lesley Houston

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.

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