Northern Ireland news

Bonfire builders erect closure sign due to 'threat on our culture from nationalists'

Bonfire builders have blocked off an area close to North Howard Street in west Belfast

BONFIRE builders have blocked off an area of land in west Belfast, citing the "threat on our culture from nationalists".

Pallets and bonfire material have been stacked off North Howard Street, close to the Falls-Shankill peace line.

A sign has also been erected which says: "Road closed due to threat on our culture from nationalists".

It is understood the material is to be used on an Eleventh Night pyre close by on waste land at Conway Street, which attracts large crowds every year.

Sinn Féin's Paul Maskey last night raised concerns about the bonfire material and said no area should be shut off.

"It should be open for business and it is uncalled for that it has been closed for use," he said.

"This is totally unacceptable. It is bad enough that there is a bonfire in the area, but it is uncalled for those people involved have now closed the road also."

But the DUP's Brian Kingston said: "There are certainly no main roads around here closed, perhaps it is minor street at the back of the site.

"No concerns have been raised with me about this."

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