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knock-out blow Boxing champ Carl Frampton weighs into bonfire row as he urges people to respect ‘all cultures’


Carl Frampton. Photo by: Getty Images

Carl Frampton. Photo by: Getty Images

Carl Frampton. Photo by: Getty Images

Belfast boxing champion Carl Frampton has urged people to respect “all cultures” and called for a peaceful Twelfth, amid the row over a contentious bonfire in north Belfast.

The three-weight world champion said attacks from the bonfire into the nearby New Lodge estate “are wrong and need to stop”, but added there were positive signs over the fact that “flags, effigies, posters” have not been displayed on the pyre.

The Jackal started his fighting career in the Midland club in Tigers Bay as a seven-year-old, before taking the sporting world in Northern Ireland by storm.

The comments from Carl Frampton on the bonfire come amid increasing tension around the pyre. On Friday deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill said the bonfire should be removed by the PSNI, while DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson urged nationalist politicians to “dial down” tensions.

Writing on social media, Mr Frampton said: “Reading articles in the media you’d be forgiven to think that the Tigers Bay bonfire was only erected in Adam Street, for the first time, in 2021.

“As a young boy, I enjoyed collecting, helping to build and watch the bonfire being lit on that exact spot.

“What should be, and has rightly been condemned, is attacks on neighbouring communities.

“They are wrong and need to stop. But what should be seen as a positive move forward is the fact that flags, effigies, posters etc, have not been used.

“There isn’t a place for the burning of these things in today’s society. Whether you agree with it or not, the 11th July bonfires play a big part in a lot of people’s cultures and traditions here.

“All cultures should be respected and I hope that the 11th and 12th celebrations pass us by without any trouble.”

On Friday evening a judicial review to have the police forced to help in the removal of the bonfire was dismissed by a High Court judge.

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The review was brought by the SDLP’s Nichola Mallon and Sinn Fein’s Deirdre Hargey.

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