Calm in east Belfast in face of bonfire storm

Ravenscroft Avenue car park/Bloomfield Walkway bonfire site on Saturday
Ravenscroft Avenue car park/Bloomfield Walkway bonfire site on Saturday

East Belfast has remained largely calm in the lead up to the Eleventh night bonfires following a high court injunction preventing access to four sites in the east of the city.

Some commentators had predicted an angry response from bonfire builders after the injunction however the four sites at Ravenscroft Avenue, Avoniel Leisure Centre, Inverary Playing Fields and Cregagh Park East have remained relatively quiet over the past few days, according to one local politician.

Police said yesterday that during the past 24 hours – extending back to Saturday – they had received four reports of “minor anti-social behaviour and complaints of noise” at bonfire sites in the east of the city.

Belfast councillor Jim Rodgers said: “It’s been generally quiet, I haven’t heard of there being any stand offs or anything like that.

“With regards to the injunction I have no comment to make, but I would appeal to all bonfire builders, not just in Belfast but throughout the length and breadth of Northern Ireland to seek the advice and help of the Fire and Rescue Service who will tell them how tall and how wide a bonfire should be.

“If they do that at least things should go well.

“The last thing I want to hear of is any fatalities.”

The UUP man said: “People have the right to commemorate and celebrate their culture but they must do it within the law. I was a bonfire builder, I enjoyed it, and I want everybody else to do the same. But they need to listen and not be overly defiant because that’s the wrong road to go down.”

MP for the area Gavin Robinson of the DUP declined to comment.