Northern Ireland

Belfast council granted bonfires injunction

Car park closed sign
Image caption It is understood police can now prevent further material being added to the bonfires

Belfast City Council has been granted an injunction by the High Court preventing more materials being added to loyalist bonfires at four sites in the east of the city.

It is understood police can now prevent further material being added.

Belfast City Council said the injunction results from public concern about the size of the bonfires.

The council said the injunction is about preventing further material being brought on to the four sites.

The injunction also prevents anyone from staying on the sites.

It will not prevent the bonfires from taking place, but is to stop them getting any bigger.

The sites are:

  • Ravenscroft Avenue car park/Bloomfield walkway
  • Avoniel Leisure Centre car park
  • Inverary playing fields
  • Cregagh Park East

Bonfires are traditionally lit in loyalist areas of Northern Ireland on the eve of the annual 12 July celebrations marking King William III's victory at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.

Supt Robert Murdie said the PSNI was committed to working with the council to tackle the issues surrounding bonfires in east Belfast and the wider city, in consultation with the affected communities.

"We have now written to the council with regard to the details of the injunction - and so it would be inappropriate to comment further ahead of their response," he added.

'Respect the measure'

Sinn Féin councillor Jim McVeigh welcomed the injunction.

"The gathering and storing of materials has disrupted the use of some of these sites and by burning of these large pyres council property would be further destroyed," he said.

"It is now critically important that the PSNI and Belfast City Council act upon these injunctions to ensure that the dangerous material already gathered at these sites is safely removed in order to protect the people, homes and property in the vicinity of these illegal bonfires."

Alliance Cllr Sian O'Neill said the "application for this injunction was supported by all the parties".

"We call on everyone in our community to ensure a safe and legal Eleventh Night by respecting this measure, and the authority of those with the responsibility to uphold it, or risk being made subject to the courts," she said.

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