New Lodge: residents face evacuation as republicans prepare to light bonfire

Tower blocks close to a republican bonfire in the New Lodge area of north Belfast are to be evactuated, the Housing Executive has said.
Tower blocks close to a republican bonfire in the New Lodge area of north Belfast are to be evactuated, the Housing Executive has said.
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Residents in two tower blocks close to a republican bonfire in north Belfast are to be evacuated, the NI Housing Executive has said.

Youths attack police earlier on Thursday as officers attempted to prepare the way for contractors to remove the bonfire material.

A senior police officer said the PSNI has withdrawn from the area to prevent an escalation in disorder and the potential for risk to public safety.

A Housing Executive spokesperson said: “Given the ongoing situation in the New Lodge area the Housing Executive is telling residents to leave Oisin and Fianna tower blocks as we cannot guarantee safety, due to the proximity of the bonfire.

“We are currently speaking to all residents in these tower blocks.

“Housing Executive staff are available Grainne House to provide advice and assistance to affected residents.”