Donegall Road/Broadway bonfire ablaze 16 hours early

There was disappointment and a hint of anger in the voices of the group of teenagers who were the first to arrive at the Donegall Road/Broadway bonfire this morning. Days of effort destroyed. (link to video)

Sixteen hours early, someone – and fingers were pointing at another community – had lit the unguarded bonfire. The blaze was well underway when the fire truck arrived, briefly pausing before driving off.

Donegall Road bonfire

What the pictures can’t depict is the wall of heat that hits you – even at that distance – and the stench (most likely of tyres).

Donegall Road bonfire

The Monarch Street residents will have a quieter than expected Eleventh Night.

Update – Since the Monarch Street bonfire was part of the Belfast City Council management programme – which provides grant assistance in return for socially and environmentally responsible bonfires (ie, no tyres, no burning flags etc) – the council are sending up one of their beacons to this site for this evening. They also build a replacement bonfire to go along with the beacon – pictures over on Alan in Belfast.

Update – Spanish readers can read a translation of this post over at
El norte de IrlandaNuevos incidentes de escasa relevancia en Belfast

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  • lamhdearg

    ? on many a lip, will the balls burn.

  • Certainly looked that way this morning

  • SK

    Someone lit it before they got a chance to put a tricolour on top?

    Oh that’s just terrible.

  • lamhdearg

    Things you will not hear in the press/psni statements should local loyalist youth seek revenge tonight, irish nationlist started/instigated/where behide the trouble. Alan watch a new bonfire rise from the ashes.

  • patio dev

    lamhdearg
    oh those poor peace loving loyalists, they only ever riot, vandalise, intimidate and murder when those nasty Catholics wind them up. We never see it reported on the news cause it’s all hidden by the pan nationalist front off SF/IRA/SDLP/PSNI/BBC/UTV/UUP/DUP/AP

  • andnowwhat

    My response would be an “L”, followed by an “O” , followed by another “L”.

  • Shy Talk

    Lamhdearg

    People have to take responsibility for their actions and not use every perceived or apparent slight provocation (such as taking down a few flags out of a few hundred) to go on the rampage and come close to seriously injuring people or worse.

  • What’s the carbon-tax charge (as proposed by Dewi‘s favourite Cymru-Oz PM — oh, work it out, for yourselves!), @ A$23 per tonne?

  • Shouldn’t have been allowed to be assembled in the first place, it’s a danger to peoples health and homes.

  • Days of effort destroyed.

    Let me reconsider, resile, regret … whatever, my previous irrelevant and forced-facetious comment.

    And make a different approach.

    Who in their right mind thinks a major pollutant and the stench (most likely of tyres) in close proximity to residential housing, a major retail outlet and three hospitals could ever be a “good idea”? So, why was it allowed to develop?

  • It’s one of the BCC managed bonfires, so the smell apparently wasn’t tyres.

    And since the Monarch Street bonfire was part of the Belfast City Council management programme – which provides grant assistance in return for socially and environmentally responsible bonfires (ie, no tyres, no burning flags etc) – the council are sending up one of their beacons to this site for this evening.

  • Chris Donnelly

    Alan
    Are you sure that BCC make ‘no burning flags’ a precondition for grant assistance?

  • Scáth Shéamais

    The Monarch Street bonfire was covered in Irish flags last year, and I assume it was under the BCC programme then as well.

  • Chris – You’re right (as always!) I think it’s still a sliding scale. In previous years (which may have been updated) …

    £300 for creating a community committee by March 1st that is representative of the key stakeholders in the area;

    £400 if you engage with programme deliverers to create a programme for communities to develop a local tool kit for resources to engage the wider community on cultural heritage issues; facilitate engagement with local elected representatives; build local capacity to deliver locally based programmes; and develop local dialogue to begin to address issues of Nationalist flags on and within the vicinity of bonfires;

    £100 if you consult within the local community and with relevant statutory agencies about the site, location and size of the bonfire. Ensure no collection of materials on the site by May 16th

    £400 if groups refrain from collecting materials before June 1st;

    £300 successfully maintain a clean, compact, tidy, tyre-free site, also free from other materials such as plastics and other carbon negative materials up to July 11th

  • Shy Talk

    Pass Go, if you do not try to offend the other lot then collect £200!

  • lamhdearg

    Neither bbc n.i. or u.t.v. are carrying this piece of PROVOcation. Neither bbc n.i. or utv are running with the word sectarian in there headlines, to describe the attack on the church in magherafelt, even though the minster of the church says it was a sectarian attack, both the bbc and utv used the word sectarian in their headline, to describe the attack on harryville church, these double standards can not be allowed to continue. Without challenge.

  • lamhdearg

    from another post.
    Putting aside, every little helps.
    Bonfires
    1 tyre emits less that 1 pound of co2 if burnt,
    1 coal powered power station (u.s.) produces 4 million “us” tons (2000 lb per ton) per year.

    Question, how many 11th night bonfires (average 20 tyres per bonfire) would it take to match the co2 put out by 1 coal powered power station in one day.

  • Nunoftheabove

    lamhdearg

    Can you also run an analysis of how societally productive both processes are relative to one another ?

  • lamhdearg

    if i could i would take and post a picture of the ira (tri colour, that is at this moment being put on the bonfire that sits no more that 30 yards from my back door, its at least 10ft my 20ft, and sure makes the bonfire look small.

  • JR

    someone – and fingers were pointing at another community – had lit the unguarded bonfire.

    I don’t know if finger pointing stands up in a court of law.

    ‘Things you will not hear in the press/psni statements should local loyalist youth seek revenge tonight, irish nationlist started/instigated/where behide the trouble.’

    – That is because the PSNI rely on a little thing called evidence!

  • JR

    Also Lamhdhearg, It is not anything to do with the CO2, it is the oxides of Nitrogen and Sulfur that are the problem, The low burn temperature produces incredible levels of pollution with a proven cancer link.

    Why not just burn wood?

  • lamhdearg

    nunoftheabove
    Both provide people with what they want, at the expense of the well being of the people. i had a much longer reply typed, but my slugger gremilns have returned and i had to shut down my computer and lost it. C.I.A. satellite must be overhead again, and it has picked up on me typing u.s. . anyhoo must go 11th night build up awaits, have a good one.

  • JR

    Lamhdhearg,
    Does your queen approve of all this flag burning?

  • Comrade Stalin

    lamhdearg, in the months leading up to the 11th the collected bonfire materials are routinely set on fire by local youths, possibly accidentally, probably on purpose.

    It’s reckless to put about rumours of some sort of involvement in the absence of evidence.

  • lamhdearg

    just time for one more, JR “evidence” there are many a cctv camera at broadway the police will know who lit the bonfire, just dont hold your breath, waiting on them calling it. As for tyres they should not be put on bonfires, my little comment, is just that a comment. one more thing , what sort of d’oh head leaves a bonfire on a interface unguarded on the 10th night, young ones today, puth.

  • South Belfast Hack

    Whatever your opinion on bonfires, let’s be honest not everybody likes them, you have to recognise that this was a petty act and entirely unnecessary.

  • tacapall

    Most people know who set this bonfire alight early, maybe the likes of lamhdearg should go looking around his own community for the culprits I believe the UDA and those breakaway dissident loyalists from the village area are not on speaking terms. Maybe they were annoyed at having to negotiate with Sinn Fein for the return of certin plaques stolen from the memorial garden in St james by loyalist youths a few days ago – they have been returned.

  • Cynic2

    Hmmmmm ……………………. lots of sectarian gloating about sectarian gloating. I suppose that’s what Gerry always meant by a society based on equality

  • andnowwhat

    It’s a bunch of polluting trash that entertains those for who combustion is still a fascination.

    Who gives a toss?

  • LamhDheargAbu

    I think there won’t be too many shedding a tear hearing of this burning to the ground prematurely.

  • lamhdearg

    kids bonfire coming to a close,all the kids ready for bed after all day party and then their bonfire, good day so far. no news of trouble, all good.

  • lamhdearg

    police have asked that the tyres (six in number set on top) be removed, this has happened, i think they also want the ira flag removed, this has not happened,the police have left, (to come back?) one lad has got up a ladder and poured something (petrol?) over the top of the bonfire and the flag, as the lighting up time is 12pm, this is odd, i think they are getting ready to set fire to the flag should the police return.

  • SK

    “police have asked that the tyres (six in number set on top) be removed, this has happened, i think they also want the ira flag removed, this has not happened,the police have left, (to come back?) one lad has got up a ladder and poured something (petrol?) over the top of the bonfire and the flag, as the lighting up time is 12pm, this is odd, i think they are getting ready to set fire to the flag should the police return”

    _

    Do bonfire fumes affect grammar?

  • lamhdearg

    sk, “Do bonfire fumes affect grammar?” Probably, however in this case, it is probably that fact i am thick. Now make sure your grammar is prefect, someone even more clever than you may be reading.

  • SK

    “Probably, however in this case, it is probably that fact i am thick.”

    _

    Perhaps that would explain the bonfire fetish. Have you all taken the “cold house for Protestants” stuff a little bit too literally?

    Honest question: do you see the absurdity in covering a bonfire in tricolours and then complaining that nationalists won’t respect your ‘culture’?

  • lamhdearg

    30 mins untill bonfire, mood of people is good, still no reports of trouble across ulster, grammar aside its all good still. SLAINTE / TO YOUR HEALTH.

  • lamhdearg

    SK
    i do not complain that (irish) nationalists won’t respect, i complain that they attack it, and then complain that others do the same to them.

  • SK

    “i do not complain that (irish) nationalists won’t respect, i complain that they attack it, and then complain that others do the same to them.”

    The fenians should let you burn that fenian flag in peace eh?

    Enjoy the bonfire.

  • orly
  • SK

    “Possibly of interest to SK”

    Orly,

    Unionists cannot stir a big pot of sh*t and then complain about the smell.

  • lamhdearg

    gloves off.

  • the future’s bright, the future’s orange

    condoning violence already SK?

    some pretty shocking sides from both sides already this month. Fingers crossed the rest passes off a bit more peacefully.

  • GavBelfast

    The worst of both sides are clearly every bit as bad as – and ape – each other.

    No amount of slightly superior, sneering propaganda on here, with the usual camp-following sock puppets, hides that.

  • Drumlins Rock

    I’m waiting for Chris Donnelly’s thread on the broadway riots….

    Its sickening these thugs on either side can turn this on and off still. I havn’t heard any excuses but I’m sure the usual suspects will blame it all on the Orange an MI5 as usual, instead of looking in their own back yard.

  • Comrade Stalin

    DR,

    The loyalists or MI5 can’t be blamed for the rioting on Broadway last night which, like the rioting a couple of nights ago, was essentially recreational rioting on a specious pretext. I would have no dount that dissident republicans were involved in shipping the rioters into the area. And no lamhdearg, before you rush to ask, I haven’t got any proof.

    It is more clear to me than ever that the existing police strategy of containing and/or discouraging this sort of riotous assembly is not working. Our political leaders need to do more.

    As for my own experience last night, I’m about half a mile away from Monkstown and I could hear the music and the jeering from here, with all the windows closed. I stayed up later than usual in case a few of the drunken dickheads would try to pelt a few of the houses in the community – I’ve never had to do that before. It didn’t happen of course, but the 11th night came closer to home for me than it usually does.

  • SK

    “condoning violence already SK?”

    _

    I condemn the rioting completely.

    I also condemn the assholes who pretend that putting their neighbours flag on a bonfire has nothing to do with the tension that follows.

    There are two groups of people who burn flags on a regular basis: Muslim extremists and Ulster Protestants.

  • Chris Donnelly

    I’m waiting for Chris Donnelly’s thread on the broadway riots….

    Drumlin
    The heat from the burning tyres and flags must have got to your brain as you’ve obviously forgotten that you’re still a Slugger blogger and are rather capable of initiating blogs all by yourself.

    Or maybe that was just another MOPE you couldn’t resist?

    Perhaps if the PSNI were to apologise for the temperature of the water they used in the water canon, then perhaps this particular riot may be worth a blog on its own.

    As it is, another sectarian incident,most probably organised by dissident republicans in the hope of capitalising on heightened tensions within the nationalist community due to other sectarian events taking place nearby, is not worthy of a thread on its own (imho.)

  • Comrade Stalin

    SK,

    There was nothing political about the Broadway rioting last night – the rioters were kids, some of them barely teenagers. This is just plain old recreational rioting. When it’s not the 12th the same groups of hoods roam around their own neighbourhoods smashing, wrecking and intimidating. It’s not an explosion of anger, just a convenient excuse.

  • tacapall

    “As it is, another sectarian incident,most probably organised by dissident republicans in the hope of capitalising on heightened tensions within the nationalist community”

    Jumping on the bandwagon there Chris, where you there to witness this ? I saw the usuall faces there, the Sinn Fein whatever you want to call thems who seem to be bussed in from everywhere to stand and give the impression they were doing something important, but who did’nt do much more than watch as dozens of kids and teenagers pushed by them and started attacking the PSNI. The same teenagers as last year with the same excause, just wanton vandalism and drug fulled hatred of the PSNI and indeed certain indivduals among those Sinn Fein whatever you call ems.

  • tacapall @ 11:47 am:

    Fair enough, and I certainly wasn’t there to witness this.

    However, having a wee bit of experience with young people, I would need pharmacological evidence it was drug fulled hatred. My experience is that teen spirit and adrenaline are usually mayhem-inducing enough.

  • tacapall

    Malcolm of course they were not all drug fuelled the rest were just acting under the influence of alcohol and I dont need experience working with young people to know this. The question is why the hatred of the PSNI, the Shinners and those from across the divide, its becoming a tradition soon it will become like OO marches, a divine right to riot around interface areas where bonfires are situated more to antagonise the other side.

  • pippakin

    What are there six or seven threads about bonfires? and nothing about the rioting last night. Odd that, considering the previous riot was also spontaneous but was not only covered by at least two threads it was complete with running commentary.

    I hate this time of the year it brings out the worst in people and even provides them with excuses….

  • Comrade Stalin

    pippakin, the worst part is that when for whatever reason people apparently don’t voice their opinions quickly enough it is taken as tacit sympathy. Perhaps it had not crossed your mind that some of the slugger bloggers are enjoying the weather and the day off.

  • pippakin

    CS

    .” Perhaps it had not crossed your mind that some of the slugger bloggers are enjoying the weather and the day off.”

    Of course it has, so what? Several threads about the dangers environmental, physical and political of bonfires and yet everyone not only takes a day off they manage not to notice a riot and the well placed, well informed republican who was all over the last loyalist riot, risking life and limb I have no doubt, is also among the missing when it comes to providing the same or any information when its republicans doing the rioting.

    Reading through the threads its clear that some/most? loyalists feel the reporting is one sided and reading Slugger over the last day or so its easy to see why they feel that way.

    I believe in a United Ireland and I can’t see that moving forward when coverage of events can be legitimately described as one sided. It polarises people.

    I don’t want to argue but nor do I want loyalists to believe that all republicans are against them or their culture. As I said I hate this time of year.

  • keano10

    Went to the KFC in Donegall Place in The City Centre at 12.30 lunchtime (as I’m working in Town today). Totally shocked at the almost paralytic state of bandsmen in that rea.

    In particular there is one band named (“The Pride of The Shore”) whose entire line up are raucously singing Sectarian songs at the tops of their voices while jumping up and down all over the road. Even some of the more elderly Orangemen walking past are looking on in disbelief). Neil Lennon is the subject of many of the chants and plenty of UVF songs and chants as well.

    I’m guessing that this outfit hail from somewhere along The Shore Road direction but one wonders exactly what visitors make of all of this? By the way there are very very few tourists in The Wellington Place vicinity today although they could be elsewhere I guess.

  • tacapall

    Pippakin the bonfires and rioting come together at this time of year a simple solution is not to build bonfires near interface area’s but it seems the placing of bonfires wherever they like is similar to the right to walk the queens highway and for the record yes those same republicans who risked life and limb at Short Strand were there but unfortunately cant beat or push around children, wouldn’t people like yourself be screaming from the high heavens about child abuse.

  • Comrade Stalin

    pippakin, I don’t see how it is possible to be balanced when what is actually happening out there is unbalanced. What we saw last week was sustained loyalist rioting – and politicians queuing up to apologize for it.

    And I think it’s a bridge too far to suggest there is some sort of agenda causing the republican stuff not to be commented on. There are plenty of Slugger bloggers who are not unionists.

  • Comrade Stalin

    To paraphrase Stephen Colbert – it would appear that reality has a distinctly anti-loyalist bias.

  • pippakin

    CS

    I’ve not suggested there is a deliberate agenda, how absurd! Its about balance and perception. Loyalists believe they don’t get a fair press and even if the only people who believe that are loyalists the perception is out there and its loyalists republicans need to win over. Reading the threads on here its easy to see the loyalist sense of persecution and its also easy to see why.

    There was a serious riot last night I heard on the news that 22 policemen were injured, shots are said to have been fired.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Its about balance and perception.

    Pippakin, the last couple of weeks have been dominated by loyalist rioting and disorder. Accordingly the news media, including Slugger, have been dominated by articles about loyalist rioting and disorder. You cannot have balance in those circumstances without either ignoring some of the loyalist disorder or focussing disproportion on the “republican” disorder. I put “republican” in quote marks because so far no elected politicians have come on to try to make excuses for it or paint it as anything other than the terrorizing and destruction of the local community.

    Last year there was almost no loyalist rioting or disorder, but severe dissident-inspired rioting in Ardoyne. At that time most of the Slugger articles focussed on that since that is what dominated the media.

    Loyalists who say they don’t get fair press are simply wrong. I am up for winning over loyalist perceptions, but not at the expense of the truth being reported. If anything the press has gone far too easy on the loyalist rioting, reporting the so far unproven allegation that union flags were wrongly removed as unchallenged fact.

    And in any case this argument is ridiculous. I never heard anyone talking of the need to win over the dissidents organizing the riots in Lurgan or last year in Ardoyne. That’s because nobody supports them, nobody wants them and I think most people just want a spade to be called a spade and for the law to be upheld, not all this fannying about trying not to offend people who have chosen a nakedly criminal path.

  • grandimarkey

    “and its loyalists republicans need to win over”

    How could this be done in a situation like The East Belfast or Ballyclaire riots though?

    The police have stated that both incidents involved Loyalist Paramlitries at some level. What angle could Sinn Fein take that could condemn illegal organisations engaging in anti-social criminality and not offend the participating members of the Loyalist community?

  • Comrade Stalin

    grandimarkey, the thing is as well is that – as we are frequently being told – loyalists aren’t supported at the polls by unionist voters, who all vote for the DUP or UUP. Why should it be necessary to win over the people that nobody votes for ? Wouldn’t that be tantamount to ignoring the election results ?

  • Nunoftheabove

    If they claim not to be voting for anyone and to be represented by anyone then by definiton they’re entitled to no formal representation at the political level. If nobody votes for them there’s no chair at any democratic negotiating table for them. They can whine all they like about it in as loud a fashion as they like. If they cross the line in doing so then they are entitled to expect only to be prosecuted for doing so without fear or favour. Would that it were thus and it is outrageous that very few in the mainstream can even bring themselves to verbalize this plain logic still less do shit about it.

  • Comrade Stalin

    In case anyone was wondering, this is what an unequivocal condemnation sounds like :

    “There was no provocation. There was nothing from the Protestant, loyalist, unionist community. Broadway interface was quiet,” he said.

    “What you had was 100 or 150 of these young people all tooled up and masks around their faces.

  • Greenflag

    ‘There are two groups of people who burn flags on a regular basis: Muslim extremists and Ulster Protestants.’

    The former burn Israeli and USA flags whereas as the latter burn Irish , Palestinian , Polish and Vatican flags . It would seem that Ulster Protestants win the flag burning contest by 2 to 1 ;(

  • lamhdearg

    Comrade,
    that community worker will never make a politician, he’s to honest.

  • lamhdearg

    this is no the bbc news web site, it’s a bit long but if you care to read it i will make a point at the end.

    Fireman injured during 11th night trouble The Fire and Rescue Service responded to a call out every 75 seconds
    A firefighter was injured and a fire appliance damaged during serious street violence on the 11th night.

    The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) said it had received 180 fire calls as of 0100 BST on Tuesday, a 65% increase on 2010.

    At its peak it was receiving one call every 75 seconds, the majority within the Greater Belfast area.

    However, it said attempts to reach some areas were hindered by violent disturbances.

    A firefighter was slightly injured by stone throwing youths in Londonderry and in Belfast an appliance was taken out of service after it was vandalised.

    In addition to this, two additional appliances were deployed to ensure the fire service could meet demand.

    ‘Challenging’

    NIFRS Group Commander Trevor Ferguson said it was a very difficult night for firefighters: “We had over 200 incidents last night,” he said.

    “Last night was a very busy and challenging night for the Fire and Rescue Service across Northern Ireland. We were dealing with a call every 75 seconds at one stage.

    “We had a very busy night all round with a full range of incidents. From rubbish fires, bonfires, vehicles in fires, right up to property fires and whilst we dealt with a number of public orders incidents in the greater Belfast area, across Northern Ireland we dealt with some other very serious incidents as well.”

    what is not in this report but is in the firemans(verbal on t.v.) statement, is that the attacks on the fire fighters where nothing to do with bonfires, however that important part of his statement has been left out of the bbc online report, leaving the reader with the impression that the attacks where at bonfire sites,this type of editing is prevalant in the press believe it is deliberate. Just because i appear to be paranoid it doesn’t mean i am wrong.