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Pictured: Bonfires lit across Northern Ireland

Smaller than usual number pyres built following calls to abandon tradition this year in case they draw large crowds

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Eleventh night celebrations take place at Pitt Park in east Belfast. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Eleventh night celebrations take place at Pitt Park in east Belfast. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Eleventh night celebrations take place at Pitt Park in east Belfast. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Eleventh night celebrations take place at Pitt Park in east Belfast. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Eleventh night celebrations take place at Pitt Park in east Belfast. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Eleventh night celebrations take place at Pitt Park in east Belfast. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Eleventh night celebrations take place at Pitt Park in east Belfast. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Eleventh night celebrations take place at Pitt Park in east Belfast. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Eleventh night celebrations take place at Pitt Park in east Belfast. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Eleventh night celebrations take place at Pitt Park in east Belfast. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Eleventh night celebrations take place at Pitt Park in east Belfast. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Eleventh night celebrations take place at Pitt Park in east Belfast. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Eleventh night celebrations take place at Pitt Park in east Belfast. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Eleventh night celebrations take place at Pitt Park in east Belfast. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Eleventh night celebrations take place at Pitt Park in east Belfast. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Eleventh night celebrations take place at Pitt Park in east Belfast. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The 11th night bonfire is light at Flora Street,  east Belfast . Picture Colm O'Reilly Sunday Life 11-07-11

The 11th night bonfire is light at Flora Street, east Belfast . Picture Colm O'Reilly Sunday Life 11-07-11

The 11th night bonfire is light at Flora Street,  east Belfast . Picture Colm O'Reilly Sunday Life 11-07-11

The 11th night bonfire is light at Flora Street, east Belfast . Picture Colm O'Reilly Sunday Life 11-07-11

Sandy Row bonfire. Photo Stephen Davison/Pacemaker Press

Sandy Row bonfire. Photo Stephen Davison/Pacemaker Press

 The Eleventh night bonfire is light at Moneyreagh Co.Down. Picture Colm O'Reilly Sunday Life 11-07-11

The Eleventh night bonfire is light at Moneyreagh Co.Down. Picture Colm O'Reilly Sunday Life 11-07-11

Eleventh night celebrations take place at Pitt Park in east Belfast. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Bonfires have been lit across Northern Ireland to mark the forthcoming Twelfth of July celebrations.

A smaller than usual number of bonfires were built across Northern Ireland as part of the traditional annual celebrations.

The Fire Service has attended some of the fires.

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Eleventh night celebrations take place at Pitt Park in east Belfast. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Eleventh night celebrations take place at Pitt Park in east Belfast. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Eleventh night celebrations take place at Pitt Park in east Belfast. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Prior to their being lit, politicians and community leaders urged caution to avoid large crowds gathering against coronvirus regulations, which state no more than 30 should gather together outside.

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Eleventh night celebrations take place at Pitt Park in east Belfast. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Eleventh night celebrations take place at Pitt Park in east Belfast. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Eleventh night celebrations take place at Pitt Park in east Belfast. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Police issued a message on Saturday evening reminding the public to adhere to the regulations and maintain safe social distancing.

One towering pyre at Pitt Park on the Newtownards Road bears a banner which reads “stay one metre apart”.

Bonfires are lit in loyalist communities across the region every July 11 to usher in the main date in the Protestant loyal order parading season – the Twelfth of July.

While the majority pass off without incident, some are the source of community tension, with authorities previously having intervened to remove towering pyres on health and safety grounds.

A number of bonfires in east Belfast were cleared last month with the co-operation of the community to respect social-distancing rules.

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In June, contractors cleared wood gathered for a July 11 bonfire at Lismore Street in Belfast after the local community agreed to cancel the lighting of this year’s pyre due to the coronavirus pandemic (Rebecca Black/PA)

In June, contractors cleared wood gathered for a July 11 bonfire at Lismore Street in Belfast after the local community agreed to cancel the lighting of this year’s pyre due to the coronavirus pandemic (Rebecca Black/PA)

PA

In June, contractors cleared wood gathered for a July 11 bonfire at Lismore Street in Belfast after the local community agreed to cancel the lighting of this year’s pyre due to the coronavirus pandemic (Rebecca Black/PA)

However, some appeared to have been rebuilt following anger after hundreds gathered in west Belfast on June 30 for the funeral of IRA veteran Bobby Storey.

Unionist politicians have urged that the advice of the Orange Order to celebrate the Twelfth at home be followed.

The Rev Mervyn Gibson, from Westbourne Presbyterian Church, acknowledged public anger following alleged social-distancing breaches during the Storey funeral.

He said his community cared too much about Northern Ireland to risk everyone’s health by restoring Eleventh Night pyres.

Mr Gibson added: “We do not want to mimic their bad behaviour.”

Bonfires lit across Northern Ireland July 2020 [Photos] Close

The 11th night bonfire is light at Flora Street,  east Belfast . Picture Colm O'Reilly Sunday Life 11-07-11

The 11th night bonfire is light at Flora Street, east Belfast . Picture Colm O'Reilly Sunday Life 11-07-11

Eleventh night celebrations take place at Pitt Park in east Belfast. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Eleventh night celebrations take place at Pitt Park in east Belfast. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Eleventh night celebrations take place at Pitt Park in east Belfast. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Eleventh night celebrations take place at Pitt Park in east Belfast. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Eleventh night celebrations take place at Pitt Park in east Belfast. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Eleventh night celebrations take place at Pitt Park in east Belfast. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Eleventh night celebrations take place at Pitt Park in east Belfast. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Eleventh night celebrations take place at Pitt Park in east Belfast. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Eleventh night celebrations take place at Pitt Park in east Belfast. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Eleventh night celebrations take place at Pitt Park in east Belfast. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Eleventh night celebrations take place at Pitt Park in east Belfast. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Eleventh night celebrations take place at Pitt Park in east Belfast. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Eleventh night celebrations take place at Pitt Park in east Belfast. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Eleventh night celebrations take place at Pitt Park in east Belfast. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Eleventh night celebrations take place at Pitt Park in east Belfast. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Eleventh night celebrations take place at Pitt Park in east Belfast. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The 11th night bonfire is light at Flora Street,  east Belfast . Picture Colm O'Reilly Sunday Life 11-07-11

The 11th night bonfire is light at Flora Street, east Belfast . Picture Colm O'Reilly Sunday Life 11-07-11

Sandy Row bonfire. Photo Stephen Davison/Pacemaker Press

Sandy Row bonfire. Photo Stephen Davison/Pacemaker Press

 The Eleventh night bonfire is light at Moneyreagh Co.Down. Picture Colm O'Reilly Sunday Life 11-07-11

The Eleventh night bonfire is light at Moneyreagh Co.Down. Picture Colm O'Reilly Sunday Life 11-07-11

The 11th night bonfire is light at Flora Street, east Belfast . Picture Colm O'Reilly Sunday Life 11-07-11

Belfast Telegraph