Portadown, Edgarstown bonfire burnt down in attack condemned as 'sectarian'

A photo of the Edgarstown bonfire last night shared by DUP MLA Jonathan Buckley Credit: Jonathan Buckley Facebook

An MLA has slammed the setting fire of a bonfire in the Portadown area as a "sectarian filled" act and a "deliberate attempt to stir tensions".

DUP MP Carla Lockhart also said the builders of the pyre would not be deterred and they would rebuild.

The bonfire in Edgarstown was burnt down prematurely with the Fire Service called to the scene.

Police are treating the incident as arson.DUP MLA Jonathan Buckley said: "Last night Edgarstown Bonfire was set alight in a deliberate attempt to stir tensions.

"This sectarian filled attack cannot go without challenge and I will be meeting with police to ensure that an investigation takes place and those responsible are reprimanded for their actions."DUP MP for the area, Carla Lockhart also branded the attack sectarian. She thanked the Fire Service for the attack.

"I wholeheartedly condemn this attack and call on the PSNI to fully investigate this incident. I will be meeting the PSNI and the builders today," She said.

"We know this is an attempt to goad the loyalist community into retaliation and to scupper our rich culture.

"I know that the Edgarstown people will not be deterred and it will be rebuilt within days."

Portadown Orange District 1 Lodge also spoke against the attack and called on the community to aid the Edgarstown bonfire in rebuilding ahead of the Twelfth. "We call upon all Political leaders to come out publicly and condemn this sectarian attack on our unionist traditions and culture and the local community", the Lodge said in a statement on Facebook.

It also called on the PSNI to open an investigation immediately and "bring those responsible to justice".

The PSNI said in a statement that they are treating the incident as arson and enquiries are ongoing.The police have asked for anyone with information on the fire to contact them.

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