Northern Ireland news

Loyalist bonfire set alight in Co Derry

An Eleventh Night bonfire has been set alight in the Leckagh estate in Magherafelt, Co Derry
Connla Young

Unionists have described the lighting of an Eleventh Night bonfire in a Co Derry town as "provocation".

Dozens of pallets are believed to have been set ablaze at the bonfire site in the Leckagh estate in Magherafelt in the early hours of Wednesday.

The Fire Service said it was called to the scene just before 1am and believes the cause of the blaze was "deliberate".

Although it is not known who was responsible for setting the pyre alight in a joint statement DUP councillor Paul McLean and MLA Keith Buchanan claimed a decision to introduce a bonfire licensing scheme by Mid Ulster District Council “has raised tensions across the Mid Ulster area” and added “this latest incident would appear to be a further attempt to create further problems”.

“Those responsible must be condemned and we would appeal for there to be no reaction to such provocation,” he said.

“Bonfires should be a positive celebration of culture and whilst it will take a great deal of work this can still happen in Leckagh.

“Those who attempted to spoil the event will not be successful.”

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