Belfast Telegraph

We didn't feed bonfire builders, say police after social media claims

By Jonathan Bell

Police said they did not feed bonfire builders in Portadown, after claims were made on social media of officers acting as a delivery service.

Upper Bann MLA John O'Dowd highlighted a post which thanked the PSNI for their "delicious food delivery" to the Edenderry bonfire builders.

The fire was set alight early last week days before it was due to be lit to mark the anniversary of the Battle of the Somme. Police are treating the incident as sectarian and unionist MLAs condemned the incident saying it was an attempt to heighten tensions.

The bonfire was rebuild within three days and lit as it was supposed to be on Monday.

The PSNI linked the incident to an attack on a republican memorial and a vicious sectarian beating of a man in Portadown town centre. Chief inspector Jon Burrows said he was dragged from a car by seven "cowards" and it was fortunate he was not having to deal with a "sectarian murder".

On Tuesday evening Sinn Fein MLA John O'Dowd highlighted a social media post which thanked police for "the delicious food they delivered" to those who helped rebuild the Edenderry pyre.

He asked - if the post was true - if it was right for police to do so, given the burning of the Irish flag on the bonfire.

However, a PSNI spokeswoman dismissed the claims saying police did not provide any food to the bonfire builders and will be replying to Mr O'Dowd to inform him of that.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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