08/07/2021

Sinn Féin And DUP Clash Over North Belfast Bonfire

Sinn Féin and the DUP have butted heads over a bonfire in Adam Street within the Tigers Bay community.

North Belfast Sinn Féin MLA Carál Ní Chuilín says children in the New Lodge area are "terrified in their own homes and afraid to go outside".

Issuing a statement, she said: "Homes and gardens are being pelted with masonry and golf balls with children being left in tears, leading to restlessness, anxiety, bed-wetting and nail-biting.

"There is loud music into the early hours of the morning, together with associated anti-social behaviour and children are not able to sleep in their own beds. 

"This is absolutely unacceptable."
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DUP Deputy Leader Paula Bradley MLA hit back at the media coverage surrounding the bonfire, adding: "Sinn Fein's leader in the Republic of Ireland, Mary Lou McDonald, who has no mandate in Northern Ireland, said: 'Everybody has a right to live free from sectarian harassment.' Does she include the Tigers Bay community, that has come under sustained sectarian attack over recent weeks, months and years, in that?

"This bonfire is not contentious in the community within which it sits. It is only deemed contentious by those who talk about respect but cannot bring themselves to respect the sight of their neighbour's culture. The Chief Constable would do well to remember that when making statements."

Sinn Féin are now looking into an urgent meeting to discuss the impact of the tensions on local children in New Lodge.

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