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Youths target Belfast apartment block hours after meeting about bonfire damage

The Victoria Place apartment block was damaged by an Eleventh Night bonfire near Sandy Row in Belfast. Picture by Declan Roughan
Brendan Hughes

YOUTHS have targeted a Belfast apartment block just over a week after it was damaged by a loyalist bonfire.

The criminal damage happened only hours after a high-profile meeting was held in the building to discuss the Eleventh Night blaze.

Statutory agencies and politicians attended the meeting with residents of the affected flats near Sandy Row on Wednesday night.

The damage at the Victoria Place flats was reported to police shortly before 12.45am yesterday.

The PSNI said a "group of youths had caused damage to the entrance of a car park at Welwood Street".

"The youths did not gain entry to the car park and made off in the direction of Great Victoria Street."

Last week, an Eleventh Night bonfire caused some windows on the apartment block to crack and shatter.

Firefighters also had to douse the building with water to prevent it catching fire.

Residents have been left asking questions over who will foot the repair bill – and have called for action to prevent bonfire problems in future years.

Police, Fire Service, council and Housing Executive officials attended Wednesday night's meeting, as well as representatives from Alliance, the Green Party, SDLP and Sinn Féin.

Green Party MLA Clare Bailey hit out at the latest damage and said concerns about anti-social behaviour had been discussed with police.

She added: "I think a proper plan needs to be put in place for the whole community, because these residents are part of the Sandy Row community."

Police have appealed for information about the criminal damage.

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