Northern Ireland

Department assessing damage after Cluan Place bonfire returns in east Belfast

The aftermath of a bonfire on Cluan Place in east Belfast. Picture by Hugh Russell
The aftermath of a bonfire on Cluan Place in east Belfast. Picture by Hugh Russell

A bonfire has reappeared in a small cul-de-sac in east Belfast, where serious safety concerns have previously seen material forcibly removed under police supervision.

On Friday morning, there was visible damage to the road on Cluan Place which sits off the main Albertbridge Road.

The Department for Infrastructure has responsibility for the land, with a spokesperson stating: “The Department is aware of the bonfire at Cluan Place. It will assess what further action, including repairs, need to be carried out.”

Cluan Place in east Belfast. Picture by Hugh Russell
Cluan Place in east Belfast. Picture by Hugh Russell

In 2018, masked contractors with protection from police riot officers removed a huge pile of bonfire material in Cluan Place as well as at the nearby Bloomfield Walkway.

It later emerged the cost for policing both sites reached £188,000, while the PSNI later said they had been warned the East Belfast UVF intended to create serious disorder in retaliation.

This week, a smaller bonfire had also appeared on the Bloomfield Walkway with damage caused to a shared cycle and walking path.

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In 2019, Cluan Place was again the focus of negative attention when resident Ian Ogle was beaten and stabbed to death outside his home.

Tributes in his memory have remained a permanent fixture on the street ever since, and in April a 20-year-old man was arrested for causing damage to the memorial.