Northern Ireland news

No-one questioned over bonfire pallets theft from council storage

The Gransha Road facility where bonfire pallets had been stored by Belfast City Council ahead of the Twelfth last year before being stolen. Picture by Mal McCann
Brendan Hughes

THE PSNI did not question anyone over the reported theft of pallets controversially stored by a council for loyalist bonfire builders.

Police were contacted last year after thousands of pallets were removed from a Belfast City Council facility on Gransha Road. It has been claimed the UDA removed the pallets.

Their removal came shortly after The Irish News revealed the council was storing the pallets at ratepayers' expense.

Some 2,500 pallets were held for east Belfast's Walkway area and around 300 for a pyre near a city centre hotel – and were due to be returned before the Eleventh Night.

It prompted anger from nationalist councillors who said they were not consulted and called for the pallets not to be returned to the bonfire sites.

But before a decision was made, pallets housed at one facility were reported stolen.

Belfast council later launched an in-house investigation into its decision to store pallets. The findings have not yet been published.

Asked about the theft probe, the PSNI said its enquiries into the matter have concluded.

"Police have conducted an investigation into this matter, however no-one has been made amenable for the matter at this time. Enquiries have been concluded," a spokeswoman said.

Police continued to appeal for anyone with information about the reported theft to get in touch.

But when asked if anyone had been questioned or charged, the PSNI initially appeared unsure.

"It is not believed that anyone was questioned or charged in relation to this incident," a spokeswoman said in a statement.

Asked why police could not categorically say whether anyone was questioned, a spokeswoman then said: "No-one was questioned or charged."

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