Belfast Telegraph

Bonfire erected in east Belfast one week after controversial removal

By Andrew Madden, Local Democracy reporter

Loyalists in East Belfast have erected a makeshift bonfire next to a peace line - a week after a controversial pyre bonfire was forcibly removed by the authorities just yards away.

On the Eleventh afternoon masked contractors removed the bonfire at Cluan Place after it was deemed a “threat to life and property”, but now it has appeared again.

Last week a High Court Injunction was sought by Belfast City Council and granted at the eleventh hour. The next day the nearby Bloomfield Walkway bonfire also dismantled, however not before it had been set alight as police and the contractors approached.

On Thursday morning, a makeshift pyre out of scrap wood and leftover pallets from Twelfth celebrations appeared in the area.

The new “bonfire” is approximately 5.5 metres high, as of Thursday evening, when it was photographed a few metres from the Peace Line.

It is understood police, the DfI (whose land the Cluan Place pyre was on last week) and other bodies have been informed of the situation, which last week culminated in the UVF threatening “widespread disorder” in the east of Northern Ireland’s capital.

The Twelfth ultimately ended up relatively peaceful across the city, with only minor incidents of disorder reported.

On Thursday afternoon, crowds gathered sporadically in the area as citizens photographed the makeshift bonfire.

Alliance councillor Emmet McDonough-Brown said “any abuse” of anyone’s national symbol is wrong.

“I would urge the bonfire builders not to set these materials alight, in service of a more harmonious Belfast,” he added.

“Look at the damage you are doing to your own community. It’s wrong and needs to stop.”

A police spokesman said: "Police are aware of a small bonfire having been built in Cluan Place in east Belfast as part of a family fun day in the area."

Tim Attwood said: "A week after The dangerous bonfire in Cluan Place was dismantled, it is deeply regrettable that a new bonfire has been built with the Irish national flag on it. There can be no place for dangerous bonfires and no excuse for the abuse of anybody's national flag. DFI will need to act if there is any threat to people's property or homes."

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