Belfast Telegraph

Police respond to Belfast bonfire removal speculation as 'unauthorised' site dismantled

By Jonathan Bell

Police have moved to quash speculation more bonfires in the city are to be removed.

It comes as Department for Infrastructure contractors moved in to dismantle an "unauthorised" bonfire in east Belfast.

The Department for Infrastructure said the bonfire posed a "serious risk" to buildings and the public.

The PSNI said officers were at the Cluan Place bonfire in east Belfast to support contractors employed to clear it

A PSNI spokesman said it "poses a significant risk to people and property in the area".

"We will support contractors to complete this task speedily and with minimum disruption to the community," a statement added

Police advised that the Albertbridge Road was closed from Mountpottinger to Templemore Avenue with diversions in place.

A spokesman said a number of missiles were thrown and they are investigating a loud bang.

As speculation mounted more bonfires could be removed, the police added: "We are aware of speculation that contractors will be removing materials from other sites in and around the east of the city.

"This is not the case. The operations at Bloomfield Walk and Cluan Place are necessary to protect nearby buildings and residents who live in the areas."

A Department for Infrastructure spokeswoman added: “The unauthorised bonfire structure at the Junction of the Albertbridge Road and Cluan Place posed a serious risk to nearby buildings and members of the public.

"The Department has a duty of care to the public and as a bonfire of this size and in this location is not manageable we had to arrange for its removal.  The Department has no current plans to remove material at other sites.”

It comes after the High Court ordered the Bloomfield Walkway bonfire be drastically cut in height. It however, was torched overnight.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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