Northern Ireland news

Bonfire graffiti daubed as pallets collected in north Belfast

Pallets being stored at Tigers Bay in north Belfast, and inset, graffiti at the Duncairn Gardens interface
Brendan Hughes

GRAFFITI warning against attempts to remove a bonfire has been daubed close to where pallets are being stored in a loyalist area of north Belfast.

Stacks of wooden pallets have been collected on a site in Tigers Bay behind a business park.

'Do not touch' is written on a pole beside where the pallets are stored at Upper Canning Street.

The pallets are close to the Duncairn Gardens interface, where graffiti has been scrawled warning against removing a bonfire.

The graffiti in black lettering reads: "If this boney (bonfire) goes so does NLR," believed to be a reference to the mainly nationalist New Lodge Road area.

Sprayed in lighter paint beside this is 'KAT', the sectarian slur meaning 'Kill All Taigs'.

It is understood efforts are being made within the community to have the pallets removed.

A Belfast City Council spokesman said: "While this bonfire is not on council-owned land we are aware of material being gathered at this site.

"We continue to work with elected members and key stakeholders, including statutory partners and the community to address concerns around this particular site."

Annual July 11 fires have been widely cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, with collections of bonfire materials largely stopping in March when lockdown began.

Last week several loyalist bonfire sites in east Belfast were cleared following the cancellation of Eleventh Night events.

The sites included the grounds of Avoniel leisure centre, which was the focus of a major stand-off between police and bonfire builders last summer.

It was cleared by council workers without incident, with the support of members of the local community.

At Orangefield Park, members of the community cleared the site themselves, with some using the wood to make garden furniture.

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Northern Ireland news