Belfast Telegraph

Editor's Viewpoint: Recent acts of terror cannot be tolerated

In recent years the run-up to the Twelfth and the actual celebrations themselves have been largely peaceful, as people went about their lawful business of celebrating their faith and culture.

However, this year there has been a double challenge to lawful authority from both dissident republicans and loyalist paramilitaries, believed to be the UVF.

People pictured enjoying the Kilcooley bonfire in Bangor Co Down, Northern Ireland. Pacemaker: Arthur Allison.
People pictured enjoying the Kilcooley bonfire in Bangor Co Down, Northern Ireland. Pacemaker: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 11-07-2018: People pictured enjoying the Kilcooley bonfire in Bangor Co Down, Northern Ireland. Bonfires are traditionally lit in many loyalist areas of Northern Ireland on the Eleventh Night - the eve of the Twelfth of July. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 11-07-2018: People pictured enjoying the Kilcooley bonfire in Bangor Co Down, Northern Ireland. Bonfires are traditionally lit in many loyalist areas of Northern Ireland on the Eleventh Night - the eve of the Twelfth of July. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 11-07-2018: People pictured enjoying the Kilcooley bonfire in Bangor Co Down, Northern Ireland. Bonfires are traditionally lit in many loyalist areas of Northern Ireland on the Eleventh Night - the eve of the Twelfth of July. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 11-07-2018: People pictured enjoying the Kilcooley bonfire in Bangor Co Down, Northern Ireland. Bonfires are traditionally lit in many loyalist areas of Northern Ireland on the Eleventh Night - the eve of the Twelfth of July. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 11-07-2018: People pictured enjoying the Kilcooley bonfire in Bangor Co Down, Northern Ireland. Bonfires are traditionally lit in many loyalist areas of Northern Ireland on the Eleventh Night - the eve of the Twelfth of July. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 11-07-2018: People pictured enjoying the Kilcooley bonfire in Bangor Co Down, Northern Ireland. Bonfires are traditionally lit in many loyalist areas of Northern Ireland on the Eleventh Night - the eve of the Twelfth of July. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 11-07-2018: People pictured enjoying the Kilcooley bonfire in Bangor Co Down, Northern Ireland. Bonfires are traditionally lit in many loyalist areas of Northern Ireland on the Eleventh Night - the eve of the Twelfth of July. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 11-07-2018: People pictured enjoying the Kilcooley bonfire in Bangor Co Down, Northern Ireland. Bonfires are traditionally lit in many loyalist areas of Northern Ireland on the Eleventh Night - the eve of the Twelfth of July. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 11-07-2018: People pictured enjoying the Kilcooley bonfire in Bangor Co Down, Northern Ireland. Bonfires are traditionally lit in many loyalist areas of Northern Ireland on the Eleventh Night - the eve of the Twelfth of July. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 11-07-2018: People pictured enjoying the Kilcooley bonfire in Bangor Co Down, Northern Ireland. Bonfires are traditionally lit in many loyalist areas of Northern Ireland on the Eleventh Night - the eve of the Twelfth of July. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 11-07-2018: People pictured enjoying the Kilcooley bonfire in Bangor Co Down, Northern Ireland. Bonfires are traditionally lit in many loyalist areas of Northern Ireland on the Eleventh Night - the eve of the Twelfth of July. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 11-07-2018: People pictured enjoying the Kilcooley bonfire in Bangor Co Down, Northern Ireland. Bonfires are traditionally lit in many loyalist areas of Northern Ireland on the Eleventh Night - the eve of the Twelfth of July. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 11-07-2018: People pictured enjoying the Kilcooley bonfire in Bangor Co Down, Northern Ireland. Bonfires are traditionally lit in many loyalist areas of Northern Ireland on the Eleventh Night - the eve of the Twelfth of July. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 11-07-2018: People pictured enjoying the Kilcooley bonfire in Bangor Co Down, Northern Ireland. Bonfires are traditionally lit in many loyalist areas of Northern Ireland on the Eleventh Night - the eve of the Twelfth of July. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 11-07-2018: People pictured enjoying the Kilcooley bonfire in Bangor Co Down, Northern Ireland. Bonfires are traditionally lit in many loyalist areas of Northern Ireland on the Eleventh Night - the eve of the Twelfth of July. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 11-07-2018: People pictured enjoying the Kilcooley bonfire in Bangor Co Down, Northern Ireland. Bonfires are traditionally lit in many loyalist areas of Northern Ireland on the Eleventh Night - the eve of the Twelfth of July. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 11-07-2018: People pictured enjoying the Kilcooley bonfire in Bangor Co Down, Northern Ireland. Bonfires are traditionally lit in many loyalist areas of Northern Ireland on the Eleventh Night - the eve of the Twelfth of July. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 11-07-2018: People pictured enjoying the Kilcooley bonfire in Bangor Co Down, Northern Ireland. Bonfires are traditionally lit in many loyalist areas of Northern Ireland on the Eleventh Night - the eve of the Twelfth of July. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 11-07-2018: People pictured enjoying the Kilcooley bonfire in Bangor Co Down, Northern Ireland. Bonfires are traditionally lit in many loyalist areas of Northern Ireland on the Eleventh Night - the eve of the Twelfth of July. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 11-07-2018: People pictured enjoying the Kilcooley bonfire in Bangor Co Down, Northern Ireland. Bonfires are traditionally lit in many loyalist areas of Northern Ireland on the Eleventh Night - the eve of the Twelfth of July. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
People attend an 11th night Bonfire in the Sandy Row area of Belfast. Pic: Niall Carson/PA Wire
The replacement bonfire at the Walkway - relocated to Connswater shopping centre is lit in Belfast on July 12th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
People attend an 11th night Bonfire in the Sandy Row area of Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday July 12, 2018. Hundreds of bonfires were set to be lit at midnight as part of a loyalist tradition to mark the anniversary of the Protestant King William's victory over the Catholic King James at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. See PA story ULSTER Bonfires. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
People attend an 11th night Bonfire in the Sandy Row area of Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday July 12, 2018. Hundreds of bonfires were set to be lit at midnight as part of a loyalist tradition to mark the anniversary of the Protestant King William's victory over the Catholic King James at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. See PA story ULSTER Bonfires. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
People attend an 11th night Bonfire in the Sandy Row area of Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday July 12, 2018. Hundreds of bonfires were set to be lit at midnight as part of a loyalist tradition to mark the anniversary of the Protestant King William's victory over the Catholic King James at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. See PA story ULSTER Bonfires. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
A man scales an 11th night Bonfire in the Sandy Row area of Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday July 12, 2018. Hundreds of bonfires were set to be lit at midnight as part of a loyalist tradition to mark the anniversary of the Protestant King William's victory over the Catholic King James at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. See PA story ULSTER Bonfires. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
People attend an 11th night Bonfire in the Sandy Row area of Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday July 12, 2018. Hundreds of bonfires were set to be lit at midnight as part of a loyalist tradition to mark the anniversary of the Protestant King William's victory over the Catholic King James at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. See PA story ULSTER Bonfires. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
A firefighter attends to an 11th night Bonfire in the Sandy Row area of Belfast. Pic: Niall Carson/PA Wire
People attend an 11th night Bonfire in the Sandy Row area of Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday July 12, 2018. Hundreds of bonfires were set to be lit at midnight as part of a loyalist tradition to mark the anniversary of the Protestant King William's victory over the Catholic King James at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. See PA story ULSTER Bonfires. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
People attend an 11th night Bonfire in the Sandy Row area of Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday July 12, 2018. Hundreds of bonfires were set to be lit at midnight as part of a loyalist tradition to mark the anniversary of the Protestant King William's victory over the Catholic King James at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. See PA story ULSTER Bonfires. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
An EU flag is burned on an 11th night Bonfire in the Sandy Row area of Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday July 12, 2018. Hundreds of bonfires were set to be lit at midnight as part of a loyalist tradition to mark the anniversary of the Protestant King William's victory over the Catholic King James at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. See PA story ULSTER Bonfires. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Police deal with a suspect car in the Newtownards road area in east Belfast. Niall Carson/PA Wire
A man lights an 11th night Bonfire in the Sandy Row area of Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday July 12, 2018. Hundreds of bonfires were set to be lit at midnight as part of a loyalist tradition to mark the anniversary of the Protestant King William's victory over the Catholic King James at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. See PA story ULSTER Bonfires. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
People attend an 11th night Bonfire in the Sandy Row area of Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday July 12, 2018. Hundreds of bonfires were set to be lit at midnight as part of a loyalist tradition to mark the anniversary of the Protestant King William's victory over the Catholic King James at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. See PA story ULSTER Bonfires. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
People attend an 11th night Bonfire in the Sandy Row area of Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday July 12, 2018. Hundreds of bonfires were set to be lit at midnight as part of a loyalist tradition to mark the anniversary of the Protestant King William's victory over the Catholic King James at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. See PA story ULSTER Bonfires. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
The replacement bonfire at the Walkway - relocated to Connswater shopping centre is lit in Belfast on July 12th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
The replacement bonfire at the Walkway - relocated to Connswater shopping centre is lit in Belfast on July 12th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Pacemaker Press 11/07/2018 The 11th night Bonfire near the Connswater shopping centre in East Belfast , after the Bonfire at Cluan Place was removed. Pic Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 11/07/2018 The 11th night Bonfire near the Connswater shopping centre in East Belfast , after the Bonfire at Cluan Place was removed. Pic Pacemaker
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 11th July 2018 General view of a small bonfire off Templemore Avenue, Newtownards Road in East Belfast. It comes after the PSNI issued a notice informing the public that paramilitaries intend to orchestrate serious disorder against police officers on the Eleventh night. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Pacemaker Press 11/07/2018 The 11th night Bonfire near the Connswater shopping centre in East Belfast , after the Bonfire at Cluan Place was removed. Pic Pacemaker
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 11th July 2018 General view of the Hope Street bonfire at Sandy Row in South Belfast. It comes after the PSNI issued a notice informing the public that paramilitaries intend to orchestrate serious disorder against police officers on the Eleventh night. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 11th July 2018 General view of the Hope Street bonfire at Sandy Row in South Belfast. It comes after the PSNI issued a notice informing the public that paramilitaries intend to orchestrate serious disorder against police officers on the Eleventh night. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 11th July 2018 General view fire officers cooling down a building at the Hope Street bonfire at Sandy Row in South Belfast. It comes after the PSNI issued a notice informing the public that paramilitaries intend to orchestrate serious disorder against police officers on the Eleventh night. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 11th July 2018 General view fire officers cooling down a building at the Hope Street bonfire at Sandy Row in South Belfast. It comes after the PSNI issued a notice informing the public that paramilitaries intend to orchestrate serious disorder against police officers on the Eleventh night. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 11th July 2018 General view fire officers cooling down a building at the Hope Street bonfire at Sandy Row in South Belfast. It comes after the PSNI issued a notice informing the public that paramilitaries intend to orchestrate serious disorder against police officers on the Eleventh night. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Police at the scene of a security alert in the Newtownards road area of Belfast on July 11th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Police at the scene of a security alert in the Newtownards road area of Belfast on July 11th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Police and ATO at the scene of a security alert in the Ravenhill Avenue area of Belfast on July 11th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Police and ATO at the scene of a security alert in the Ravenhill Avenue area of Belfast on July 11th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Police and ATO at the scene of a security alert in the Ravenhill Avenue area of Belfast on July 11th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 11th July 2018 A car burns in in East Belfast this evening on the Upper Newtownards Road. It comes after the PSNI issued a notice informing the public that paramilitaries intend to orchestrate serious disorder against police officers on the Eleventh night. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 11th July 2018 A car burns in in East Belfast this evening on the Upper Newtownards Road. It comes after the PSNI issued a notice informing the public that paramilitaries intend to orchestrate serious disorder against police officers on the Eleventh night. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
11th night bonfires are prepared around Belfast as July 12th draws near. Sandy Row, South Belfast.
11th night bonfires are prepared around Belfast as July 12th draws near. Sandy Row, South Belfast. Picture by Matt Mackey / PressEye.com
11th night bonfires are prepared around Belfast as July 12th draws near. Sandy Row, South Belfast. Picture by Matt Mackey / PressEye.com
11th July 2018 - Picture by Matt Mackey / PressEye.com 11th night bonfires are prepared around Belfast as July 12th draws near. Sandy Row, South Belfast.
11th July 2018 - Picture by Matt Mackey / PressEye.com 11th night bonfires are prepared around Belfast as July 12th draws near. Sandy Row, South Belfast.
11th July 2018 - Picture by Matt Mackey / PressEye.com 11th night bonfires are prepared around Belfast as July 12th draws near. Sandy Row, South Belfast.
11th July 2018 - Picture by Matt Mackey / PressEye.com 11th night bonfires are prepared around Belfast as July 12th draws near. Sandy Row, South Belfast.
11th July 2018 - Picture by Matt Mackey / PressEye.com 11th night bonfires are prepared around Belfast as July 12th draws near. Mount Vernon, North Belfast
11th July 2018 - Picture by Matt Mackey / PressEye.com 11th night bonfires are prepared around Belfast as July 12th draws near. Sandy Row, South Belfast.
11th July 2018 - Picture by Matt Mackey / PressEye.com 11th night bonfires are prepared around Belfast as July 12th draws near. Sandy Row, South Belfast.
11th July 2018 - Picture by Matt Mackey / PressEye.com 11th night bonfires are prepared around Belfast as July 12th draws near. Mount Vernon, North Belfast

In Londonderry, it is clear that dissident republicans have been orchestrating petrol bomb and stoning attacks on the Protestant Fountain estate for several nights in a row this week. Part of the reason has been to foment sectarian tension at one of the most contentious periods of the year in a city which has led by example in consensus politics.

The other reason became clear later in the week when shots were fired at police. Having studied police reaction to the rioting, the dissidents felt sufficiently emboldened to launch what were clearly murder bids on PSNI officers.

In east Belfast, the catalyst for trouble was a court order demanding that a contentious bonfire be lowered in height. Although it had been lowered, the NI Fire and Rescue Service estimated that it was five times above the safety limit, given the proximity of houses to the pyre.

Building bonfires which endanger property or lives is a red line which the statutory authorities cannot ignore and whatever measures are required to ensure that bonfires adhere to legal limits should be taken.

Police believe that the east Belfast faction of the UVF were the sinister forces behind the bonfire and used their muscle to create trouble on the streets of east Belfast and in Newtownards. A loyalist umbrella force earlier this year said that paramilitary involvement in criminality would not be tolerated, yet it appears that each paramilitary fiefdom has its own interpretation of what is permissible.

While not underestimating the seriousness of events in Londonderry and east Belfast, it has to be acknowledged that these are isolated examples of lawlessness, reflecting the paucity of public support for these groups.

The Twelfth is an occasion which is the centrepiece of Protestant culture and thousands of Orangemen will march at venues throughout Northern Ireland today, with even more people watching the celebrations. Great efforts have been made to create a festival atmosphere around the day and the organisers deserve to have the celebrations pass off peacefully.

General view of the PSNI officers at the scene of the Cluan Place bonfire in east Belfast as contractors remove material from the 11th night bonfire. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
General view of the PSNI officers at the scene of the Cluan Place bonfire in east Belfast as contractors remove material from the 11th night bonfire. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
11th July 2018 - Picture by Matt Mackey / PressEye.com The 11th night bonfire is dismantled in Cluan Place in East Belfast.
11th July 2018 - Picture by Matt Mackey / PressEye.com The 11th night bonfire is dismantled in Cluan Place in East Belfast.
11th July 2018 - Picture by Matt Mackey / PressEye.com The 11th night bonfire is dismantled in Cluan Place in East Belfast.
11th July 2018 - Picture by Matt Mackey / PressEye.com The 11th night bonfire is dismantled in Cluan Place in East Belfast.
11th July 2018 - Picture by Matt Mackey / PressEye.com The 11th night bonfire is dismantled in Cluan Place in East Belfast.
Councillor Jim Rodgers speaks to the police. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 11th July 2018 General view of the PSNI officers at the scene of the Cluan Place bonfire in east Belfast as contractors remove material from the 11th night bonfire. A large police operation was also put in place with over 100 PSNI officers in riot gear present at the scene. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 11th July 2018 General view of the PSNI officers at the scene of the Cluan Place bonfire in east Belfast as contractors remove material from the 11th night bonfire. A large police operation was also put in place with over 100 PSNI officers in riot gear present at the scene. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 11th July 2018 General view of the PSNI officers at the scene of the Cluan Place bonfire in east Belfast as contractors remove material from the 11th night bonfire. A large police operation was also put in place with over 100 PSNI officers in riot gear present at the scene. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 11th July 2018 General view of the PSNI officers at the scene of the Cluan Place bonfire in east Belfast as contractors remove material from the 11th night bonfire. A large police operation was also put in place with over 100 PSNI officers in riot gear present at the scene. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 11th July 2018 General view of the PSNI at the Albertbridge Road in east Belfast as contractors removes material from the 11th night bonfire in Cluan Place. A large police operation was also put in place with over 100 PSNI officers in riot gear present at the scene. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 11th July 2018 General view of the PSNI officers at the scene of the Cluan Place bonfire in east Belfast as contractors remove material from the 11th night bonfire. A large police operation was also put in place with over 100 PSNI officers in riot gear present at the scene. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 11th July 2018 General view of the PSNI officers at the scene of the Cluan Place bonfire in east Belfast as contractors remove material from the 11th night bonfire. A large police operation was also put in place with over 100 PSNI officers in riot gear present at the scene. Jamie Bryson at the scene. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Belfast Telegraph

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph