Belfast Telegraph

Concerns raised over anti-internment bonfire near blocks of flats in north Belfast

Concerns have been raised about an anti-internment bonfire being constructed near blocks of flats in north Belfast.

Sinn Fein councillor JJ Magee has slammed the construction and said the bonfire is being built against the wishes of the New Lodge community.

He said, the pyre, at Victoria Parade off North Queen Street, was by youths aged between 16 and 18.

Mr Magee told the BBC: "This bonfire's taking place against the wishes of the community, it's a small element within the community that on a yearly basis collect this wood.

"It is important that people of the New Lodge are able to live their lives in peace and calm without this on their doorsteps.

"Youth leaders in the area are trying to encourage these young people not to engage in anti-social behaviour, and to do other things to help people in the community rather than bring this misery to them."

Bonfires are lit annually in some nationalist areas to mark the controversial remand without charge of mainly Catholic men on August 9, 1971.

A Housing Executive spokesman said: "Due to health and safety concerns and with community support, we have regularly removed materials from this site and will continue to do so."

It comes after the Victoria Place apartments near Sandy Row were damaged following an Eleventh night bonfire.

Windows were cracked as the towering bonfire raged on a vacant Housing Executive-owned vacant piece of land.

Residents of the apartment have been given assurances it will not be allowed to happen again.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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