AP front 1 - 2022

10 July 2003 Edition

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Provocative loyalist bonfire

Tensions are high in the Short Strand area of Belfast in the run up to this year's Twelfth of July.

Calls from nationalist politicians and community leaders for loyalists to move the site of their Eleventh night bonfire have gone unheeded and the loyalists are insisting on lighting the huge fire within yards of the besieged St Matthew's chapel on the Newtownards Road.

The chapel, which has come under constant attack from loyalists over the past 30 years of conflict, was targeted many times during last year's siege of the enclave and nationalists are worried that with the bonfire being sited within yards of the chapel it will be attacked again this weekend.

At a meeting with NIO Security Minister Jane Kennedy earlier this week, Sinn Féin's Joe O'Donnell asked for the bonfire to be removed. As An Phoblacht goes to print, the bonfire has still not been moved.

Meehan hits out at Orange Order

Sinn Fein Newtownabbey councillor Briege Meehan told An Phoblacht she will be meeting with the Parades Commission to express her concerns over the contentious Twelfth of July parade in Glengormley which is estimated to see 10,000 Orangemen take part in a march in the village, located on the northern outskirts of Belfast.

"How can the Orange Order control thousands of marchers when they couldn't control the paramilitary display or the sick sectarian taunts during a march in the village two weeks ago?" she asked.

Loyalist marchers carried UFF and UVF paramilitary flags and shouted sick taunts about postman Daniel McColgan and Gerard Lawlor, who were killed by unionist paramilitaries.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1