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Bonfire issue blown out of proportion

In advance of my visit to Belfast last week I was disappointed to hear that yet again a bonfire was being built dangerously near to property that could be damaged.

I, like many, recalled the disgraceful stories from last year of a bonfire threatening homes on Chobham Street and the Fire Service having to be called in to protect them.

Soon after arriving in Belfast I decided to visit the site in question to see for myself. Imagine my surprise and anger upon seeing the bonfire not at all close to the play park and a bonfire base built which promises the final size will be moderate and suitable for the site.

As an English visitor, I wonder at the motivations of the people who raised this issue. The story has since been picked up by media outlets, including the BBC and ITV, and I am sad to say that this is the only thing about the Eleventh Night that many English people will hear, giving them a warped impression of the celebrations.

Will you put the record straight?

EMILY BARLEY

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