Belfast Telegraph

Meet me face-to-face and explain yourselves, MLA challenges bonfire builders

Election posters on bonfire reported to police

The Eleventh Night from above Belfast. Pic Stephen Owens.
The Eleventh Night from above Belfast. Pic Stephen Owens.
The 'eleventh night bonfire is lit at the Milner Street area of the Village in South Belfast as celebrations of William of Orange's victory commence on July 11th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
The Eleventh Night from above Belfast. Pic Stephen Owens.
The 'eleventh night’ bonfire is lit at the Milner Street area of the Village in South Belfast as celebrations of William of Orange's victory commence on July 11th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
The Eleventh Night from above Belfast. Pic Stephen Owens.
The 'eleventh night’ bonfire is lit at the Milner Street area of the Village in South Belfast as celebrations of William of Orange's victory commence on July 11th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
The Eleventh Night from above Belfast. Pic Stephen Owens.
The 'eleventh night bonfire is lit at the Milner Street area of the Village in South Belfast as celebrations of William of Orange's victory commence on July 11th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
The Eleventh Night from above Belfast. Pic Stephen Owens.
The 'eleventh night bonfire is lit at the Milner Street area of the Village in South Belfast as celebrations of William of Orange's victory commence on July 11th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
The Eleventh Night from above Belfast. Pic Stephen Owens.
The 'eleventh night bonfire is lit at the Milner Street area of the Village in South Belfast as celebrations of William of Orange's victory commence on July 11th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
The Eleventh Night from above Belfast. Pic Stephen Owens.
The 'eleventh night bonfire is lit at the Milner Street area of the Village in South Belfast as celebrations of William of Orange's victory commence on July 11th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
The Eleventh Night from above Belfast. Pic Stephen Owens.
The 'eleventh nightÕ bonfire is lit at the Milner Street area of the Village in South Belfast as celebrations of William of Orange's victory commence on July 11th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
The Eleventh Night from above Belfast. Pic Stephen Owens.
The 'eleventh night bonfire is lit at the Milner Street area of the Village in South Belfast as celebrations of William of Orange's victory commence on July 11th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
The 'eleventh night’ bonfire is lit at the Milner Street area of the Village in South Belfast as celebrations of William of Orange's victory commence on July 11th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
The 'eleventh night’ bonfire is lit at the Milner Street area of the Village in South Belfast as celebrations of William of Orange's victory commence on July 11th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
The 'eleventh night’ bonfire is lit at the Milner Street area of the Village in South Belfast as celebrations of William of Orange's victory commence on July 11th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
The Lower Shankill bonfire in west Belfast. [Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye 11-07-17]
The 'eleventh night bonfire is lit at the Milner Street area of the Village in South Belfast as celebrations of William of Orange's victory commence on July 11th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
The 'eleventh nightÕ bonfire is lit at the Milner Street area of the Village in South Belfast as celebrations of William of Orange's victory commence on July 11th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
Firefighters near a lit bonfire on Albertbridge Road, Belfast ahead of the key date in the protestant loyal order marching season - the Twelfth of July. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday July 11, 2017.
The Lower Shankill bonfire in west Belfast. [Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye 11-07-17]
A quiet moment as the Sandy Row bonfire in south Belfast starts to die down. [Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye]
Firefighters douse nearby buildings as a bonfire is lit in Albertbridge Road, Belfast ahead of the key date in the protestant loyal order marching season - the Twelfth of July. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday July 11, 2017. See PA story ULSTER Twelfth. Photo credit should read: PA Wire
Firefighters douse nearby buildings as a bonfire is lit in Albertbridge Road, Belfast ahead of the key date in the protestant loyal order marching season - the Twelfth of July. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday July 11, 2017. See PA story ULSTER Twelfth. Photo credit should read: PA Wire
Firefighters douse nearby buildings as a bonfire is lit in Albertbridge Road, Belfast ahead of the key date in the protestant loyal order marching season - the Twelfth of July. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday July 11, 2017. See PA story ULSTER Twelfth. Photo credit should read: PA Wire
Firefighters douse nearby buildings as a bonfire is lit in Albertbridge Road, Belfast ahead of the key date in the protestant loyal order marching season - the Twelfth of July. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday July 11, 2017. See PA story ULSTER Twelfth. Photo credit should read: PA Wire
Firefighters douse nearby buildings as a bonfire is lit in Albertbridge Road, Belfast ahead of the key date in the protestant loyal order marching season - the Twelfth of July. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday July 11, 2017. See PA story ULSTER Twelfth. Photo credit should read: PA Wire
Onlookers watch as firefighters douse nearby buildings as a bonfire is lit in Albertbridge Road, Belfast ahead of the key date in the protestant loyal order marching season - the Twelfth of July. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday July 11, 2017. See PA story ULSTER Twelfth. Photo credit should read: PA Wire
Loyalists finish a bonfire in East Belfast in preparation for the 11th night celebrations on July 11, 2017 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 11: Loyalists finish a bonfire in East Belfast in preparation for the 11th night celebrations on July 11, 2017 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Tradition holds that the bonfires commemorate the lighting of fires on the hills to help Williamite ships navigate through Belfast Lough at night when Protestant King William III and his forces landed at Carrickfergus to fight the Catholic Jacobites, supporters of the exiled Catholic King James II. The bonfires also mark the beginning of the annual 12th of July Orange parades. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 11: Loyalists finish a bonfire in East Belfast in preparation for the 11th night celebrations on July 11, 2017 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Tradition holds that the bonfires commemorate the lighting of fires on the hills to help Williamite ships navigate through Belfast Lough at night when Protestant King William III and his forces landed at Carrickfergus to fight the Catholic Jacobites, supporters of the exiled Catholic King James II. The bonfires also mark the beginning of the annual 12th of July Orange parades. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 11: Loyalists finish a bonfire in East Belfast in preparation for the 11th night celebrations on July 11, 2017 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Tradition holds that the bonfires commemorate the lighting of fires on the hills to help Williamite ships navigate through Belfast Lough at night when Protestant King William III and his forces landed at Carrickfergus to fight the Catholic Jacobites, supporters of the exiled Catholic King James II. The bonfires also mark the beginning of the annual 12th of July Orange parades. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
LISBURN, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 10: Having finished school for the summer 13 year old Tyler Reid helps guard the Lisburn bonfire on July 10, 2017 in Lisburn, Northern Ireland. The bonfires, which are lit on the stroke of midnight on the 11th night, mark the beginning of the annual 12th of July Orange parades in Northern Ireland. The annual Orange marches celebrate the protestant King William of Orange's victory over the catholic English King James II at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images) *** BESTPIX ***
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 10: A Loyalist climbs the Conway street bonfire built in preparation for the 11th night bonfire on July 10, 2017 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Tradition holds that the bonfires commemorate the lighting of fires on the hills to help Williamite ships navigate through Belfast Lough at night when Protestant King William III and his forces landed at Carrickfergus to fight the Catholic Jacobites, supporters of the exiled Catholic King James II. The bonfires also mark the beginning of the annual 12th of July Orange parades. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images) ***BESTPIX***
Workmen board up windows of property beside a bonfire at the end of the Comber Greenway off Ravenscroft Avenue in east Belfast. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com
Workmen board up windows of property beside a bonfire at the end of the Comber Greenway off Ravenscroft Avenue in east Belfast. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com
Workmen board up windows of property beside a bonfire at the end of the Comber Greenway off Ravenscroft Avenue in east Belfast. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com
Workmen board up windows of property beside a bonfire at the end of the Comber Greenway off Ravenscroft Avenue in east Belfast. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com
Workmen board up windows of property beside a bonfire at the end of the Comber Greenway off Ravenscroft Avenue in east Belfast. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com
Workmen board up windows of property beside a bonfire at the end of the Comber Greenway off Ravenscroft Avenue in east Belfast. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com
Workmen board up windows of property beside a bonfire at the end of the Comber Greenway off Ravenscroft Avenue in east Belfast. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com
Masked men continue to build a bonfire at Inverary Playing Fields in Belfast. Liam McBurney/PA Wire
Masked men continue to build a bonfire at Inverary Playing Fields in Belfast. Police in Northern Ireland have warned their resources could be stretched amid growing fears of tension around the burning of Eleventh night bonfires. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday July 10, 2017. See PA story ULSTER Twelfth. Photo credit should read: PA Wire
Loyalists sit on the Sandy Row bonfire being built in preparation for the 11th night bonfire on July 10, 2017 in Belfast. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Belfast Telegraph 09-07-2017 Roden Street bonfire. The largest bonfire in Belfast.
Belfast Telegraph 09-07-2017 Roden Street bonfire. The largest bonfire in Belfast.
Belfast Telegraph 09-07-2017 Roden Street bonfire. The largest bonfire in Belfast.
Belfast Telegraph 09-07-2017 Roden Street bonfire. The largest bonfire in Belfast.
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 10: Loyalists climb The Village bonfire being built in preparation for the 11th night bonfire on July 10, 2017 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Tradition holds that the bonfires commemorate the lighting of fires on the hills to help Williamite ships navigate through Belfast Lough at night when Protestant King William III and his forces landed at Carrickfergus to fight the Catholic Jacobites, supporters of the exiled Catholic King James II. The bonfires also mark the beginning of the annual 12th of July Orange parades. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 10: Loyalists climb The Village bonfire being built in preparation for the 11th night bonfire on July 10, 2017 in Belfast. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 10: Loyalists climb The Village bonfire being built in preparation for the 11th night bonfire on July 10, 2017 in Belfast. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 10: The bonfires also mark the beginning of the annual 12th of July Orange parades. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 10: Loyalists sit on the Sandy Row bonfire being built in preparation for the 11th night bonfire on July 10, 2017 in Belfast. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 10: Loyalists sit on the Sandy Row bonfire being built in preparation for the 11th night bonfire on July 10, 2017 in Belfast. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 10: Loyalists sit on the Sandy Row bonfire being built in preparation for the 11th night bonfire on July 10, 2017 in Belfast. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
LARNE, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 10: 'Hurka' the chief architect and builder of the Craigyhill bonfire takes a break from stacking pallets to pose with his creation whilst balancing on a ladder on July 10, 2017 in Larne, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
General views of the square shaped bonfire on Milner Street in South Belfast on July 10th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
General views of the square shaped bonfire on Milner Street in South Belfast on July 10th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
General views of the square shaped bonfire on Milner Street in South Belfast on July 10th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
General views of the square shaped bonfire on Milner Street in South Belfast on July 10th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
General views of the square shaped bonfire on Milner Street in South Belfast on July 10th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
Pastor Lucas Parks at his church in east Belfast close to the walkway bonfire on July 10th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
The Conway Street bonfire in West Belfast on July 10th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
The Conway Street bonfire in West Belfast on July 10th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
The Conway Street bonfire in West Belfast on July 10th 2017 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
Ravenscroft Avenue car park/Bloomfield Walkway bonfire site.
Posters of Sinn Fein politicians are seen placed on a bonfire in the Shankill area of west Belfast, Northern Ireland on July 10, 2017, ahead of the traditional 11th night bonfires [Photo: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images]
A wooden pallet is carried to a bonfire in the Shankill area of west Belfast, Northern Ireland on July 10, 2017, ahead of the traditional 11th night bonfires [Photo: Paul Faith /AFP/Getty Images]
Bonfire builders Dean Neeson and Graeme Stewart carry wooden pallets to a bonfire in the Ballymacash area of Lisburn on July 10, 2017, ahead of the traditional 11th night bonfires. [Photo: Paul Faith /AFP/Getty Images]
Posters of Sinn Fein politicians are seen placed on a bonfire in Shankill. [Photo: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images]
A bonfire in the Ballymacash area of Lisburn.[Photo: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images]
A bonfire is pictured in the Ballymacash area of Lisburn. [Photo: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images]
A bonfire towers over the housing in the Ballymacash area of Lisburn. [Photo: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images]
Children play on a bonfire in the village area of Belfast, Northern Ireland on July 10, 2017, ahead of the traditional 11th night bonfires The Eleventh Night refers to the night before the Twelfth of July, an annual Protestant commemoration of the famous battle were Protestant King William III of Orange defeated Catholic King James II at the battle of the Boyne on July 12, 1690. / AFP PHOTO / Paul FAITHPAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images
A Union flag flutters in the breeze in front of a bonfire in the village area of Belfast. [Photo: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images]
Former Bonfire builder Colin Tweedie, poses for a photograph beside a bonfire in the village area of Belfast, Northern Ireland on July 10, 2017, ahead of the traditional 11th night bonfires. [Photo: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images]
Former Bonfire builder Colin Tweedie (R), inspects a bonfire in the village area of Belfast on July 10, 2017, ahead of the traditional 11th night bonfires. [Photo: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images]
Bonfire builder Ryan Preston poses for a photograph on the Doonbeg bonfire in Rathcoole in north Belfast on July 10, 2017 ahead of the traditional 11th night bonfires. [Photo: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images]
Bonfire builder Ryan Preston poses for a photograph on the Doonbeg bonfire in Rathcoole on July 10, 2017, ahead of the traditional 11th night bonfires. [Photo: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images]
Bonfire builder Ryan Preston poses for a photograph on the Doonbeg bonfire in Rathcoole on July 10, 2017, ahead of the traditional 11th night bonfires. [Photo: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images]
Belfast Telegraph 09-07-2017 East Belfast Bonfire at Avoniel Leisure Centre car park that has had an injunction by Belfast City Council in place to stop wood from being dumped at the site and added to the bonfire.
East Belfast Bonfire at Avoniel Leisure Centre car park that has had an injunction by Belfast City Council in place to stop wood from being dumped at the site and added to the bonfire.
Belfast Telegraph 09-07-2017 Ravenscroft Avenue car park/Bloomfield walkway East Belfast Bonfire ath Ravenscroft Avenue car park/Bloomfield walkway has had an injunction by Belfast City Council in place to stop wood from being dumped at the bonfire site and added to the bonfire.
Belfast Telegraph 09-07-2017 Ravenscroft Avenue car park/Bloomfield walkway East Belfast Bonfire ath Ravenscroft Avenue car park/Bloomfield walkway has had an injunction by Belfast City Council in place to stop wood from being dumped at the bonfire site and added to the bonfire.
Belfast Telegraph 09-07-2017 Ravenscroft Avenue car park/Bloomfield walkway East Belfast Bonfire ath Ravenscroft Avenue car park/Bloomfield walkway has had an injunction by Belfast City Council in place to stop wood from being dumped at the bonfire site and added to the bonfire.
Belfast Telegraph 09-07-2017 East Belfast Bonfire at Inverary playing fields that has an injunction by Belfast City Council in place to stop wood from being dumped at the site and added to the bonfire.
Belfast Telegraph 09-07-2017 East Belfast Bonfire at Inverary playing fields that has an injunction by Belfast City Council in place to stop wood from being dumped at the site and added to the bonfire.
Belfast Telegraph 09-07-2017 East Belfast Bonfire at Inverary playing fields that has an injunction by Belfast City Council in place to stop wood from being dumped at the site and added to the bonfire.
Jonathan Bell

By Jonathan Bell

SDLP MLA Daniel McCrossan has challenged those who put his elections posters on a bonfire to meet him face-to-face to explain what they are afraid of.

The West Tyrone Assembly man has also called on unionist politicians to condemn the practice of putting election posters on bonfires for the Eleventh night.

"It is a hate crime, it is theft and it sends out a message to our young people that this is acceptable to do to one side of the community," he told the Belfast Telegraph. "If it were the other way around I would be the first to condemn it."

The bonfire at Artigarvan, just outside Strabane, is bedecked with election material of Sinn Fein, SDLP and Alliance election candidates.

Mr McCrossan said that while it was to be expected, he said he was "alarmed" to see his image on a pyre to be burned.

"It is obviously a small minority of people that is behind this, but I would challenge them to come meet me, let me see the whites of their eyes and explain to me what they have to fear from me, my community and my culture.

Read more: Sinn Fein's John Finucane reports election posters on bonfire to PSNI

"It is hatred and it is unacceptable and it can not continue. If you did this any other day of the year you'd be arrested. I am taking a stand this year and not putting up with it any longer.

"If this is a symbol of culture who would want to be a part of it?

"It's also theft. During an election campaign someone has gone out and stolen these, which is an offence itself, and then stored them to burn."

‪I see posters of me are due to be burned (with others) on local bonfires across this constituency. Who would be proud...

Posted by Daniel Wray McCrossan Mla on Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The politician said he was heartened by the many people - from all sides - which had come out to condemn the action and offer their support.

"I represent all," he said. "There is no justification for this. My office is a shared space, it is neutral, there are no symbols and anyone can come in with an issue and I will treat them the same as the next person.

"But where is the reconciliation in this and what message is it sending out?

Daniel McCrossan
Daniel McCrossan

"And I want unionist politicians particularly those in west Tyrone to come out and condemn this. I want to hear from them because if it was there posters I would be the first to condemn it."

The police have been asked to comment.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph