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clash for ash MLA calls for 'resolution' in Tigers Bay bonfire row as judge says pyre 'designed to incite'

A resident, supported by MLAs, brought a court action this summer try and have the bonfire removed

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The controversial bonfire built next to a peace wall between the loyalist Tiger’s Bay and the nationalist New Lodge area of Belfast (Niall Carson/PA)

The controversial bonfire built next to a peace wall between the loyalist Tiger’s Bay and the nationalist New Lodge area of Belfast (Niall Carson/PA)

The controversial bonfire built next to a peace wall between the loyalist Tiger’s Bay and the nationalist New Lodge area of Belfast (Niall Carson/PA)

An Alliance minister has urged Catholic and Protestant communities to work towards a ”resolution” after a judge described a bonfire in Tigers Bay in north Belfast as “designed to incite."

Mr Justice Horner yesterday said the loyalist bonfire, which was within view of the Duncairn Gardens interface with the neighbouring nationalist New Lodge area, was built to “produce a visceral reaction”.

Before the bonfire was lit during Twelfth celebrations, Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey and Nichola Mallon launched a court action in conjunction with New Lodge resident in a bid to have the bonfire removed from Adam Street.

They were unsuccessful in their attempt, and the bonfire was lit as planned.

Ms Mallon told the Irish News: "We need to be honest with people. Threats of violence from loyalist paramilitaries, including threats to shoot police officers, prevented the PSNI from intervening in July.

"At the same time, and knowing this, unionist political leaders were demanding that this bonfire go ahead.”

Mr Justice Horner, speaking of the bonfire, added: “"It was designed to incite, to try and produce a visceral reaction.

"It had nothing to do with the celebration of Orange culture and should have had nothing to do with it."

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