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Watch: First Minister condemns man filmed driving golf balls into New Lodge from Tigers Bay bonfire

First Minister Paul Givan has condemned a young man who was filmed driving golf balls from the top of a bonfire in Tigers Bay into the nearby New Lodge estate.

TUV leader Jim Allister added that entire community should not be “tarred” by the actions of one “juvenile individual”.

The footage, which is thought to have been taken this week, shows the male using a golf club to hit several balls from the top of the controversial Adam Street pyre.

The PSNI told the Belfast Telegraph in response they are engaging with the community in the area.

The bonfire faces an interface that separates the loyalist Tigers Bay with the republican New Lodge.

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Chief Constable Simon Byrne said the bonfire was the “most contentious” in Northern Ireland.

Mr Givan told BBC Radio Ulster’s Good Morning Ulster that the male hitting the golf balls was “wrong”.

“I would condemn that and I know that there have been very good measures taken to try and manage what’s going on within Tigers Bay,” he continued.

“I would like to see that happening within the New Lodge. I don’t think that it has been helpful that over the last two weeks there has been an orchestrated campaign from republican and nationalist politicians to heighten an issue.

“We have been allowing the local community within Tigers Bay to deal with this and our local councillors and representatives to manage that.

“Others have brought in the president of Sinn Fein Mary Lou McDonald and there has been an escalation around this particular bonfire.”

Mr Allister added the Tigers Bay community has been “vilified enough by republicanism without the public media trying to join on that”.

“Yes, that was wrong and that shouldn't have happened,” he stated on the Nolan Show.

The footage is just the latest incident involving reports of golf balls landing in the New Lodge estate, with Sinn Fein’s Gerry Kelly previously condemning reports of damage to vehicles and property as a result of the balls.

In response to the footage, a PSNI spokesperson said: “Police are aware of ongoing issues and have been actively engaging with communities and partners to find resolutions."


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