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‘One 999 call every minute’ after Eleventh bonfires lit

Fire crews had to deal with multiple incidents across NI due to Eleventh Night bonfires. Credit: Pacemaker

One 999 call was being made to the Fire Service every minute at the height of the Eleventh Night, while crews were attacked in Belfast and Larne.

The NIFRS has said it dealt with “an exceptionally busy night”, with 40 bonfire-related incidents between 6pm on Tuesday and 1am on Wednesday.

That represents a 21% increase on last year.

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A total of 213 emergency calls were made, with crew attending 133 of them.

The most serious incidents were at Sandy Row and Ravenscroft, where firefighters were required to douse apartments and houses to protect them from the heat and flames.

Assistant Chief Fire Officer Alan Walmsley said: “An appliance was attacked in Belfast at around 1am and then in Larne half-an-hour later.

"No fire-fighters were injured.”

Concerns were also raised by displays on some bonfires, with flags and politicians' election posters burned.

A coffin bearing the image of the late deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness also appeared on one east Belfast bonfire, while a racist slur against Celtic footballer Scott Sinclair featured on another.

  • WATCH: Firefighters deal with bonfires across Belfast

Thousands take part in Twelfth demonstrations

Parades are being held across NI on Wednesday. Credit: Pacemaker

Thousands of people are taking to the streets for this year’s Twelfth of July demonstrations across Northern Ireland.

A large Scottish contingent is expected in Belfast, as the city holds the longest parade of the day - with participants walking over six miles to the assembly field.

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Armagh will once again host the biggest gathering in the world, as Orangemen and women from across the county congregate in the village of Richhill.

Other demonstrations are being held in Lisbellaw, Cookstown, Beragh, Clogher, Coleraine, Kilrea, Banbridge, Bangor, Ballynahinch, Annalong, Hillsborough, Cloughfern, Broughshane, Ballymena, Cloughmills and Cullybackey.

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SF posters on bonfire ‘a hate crime’ - Finucane

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Sinn Féin representative John Finucane has said he has contacted police after some of his campaign posters were attached to a bonfire.

He said they were placed on the one in the Conway Street area of Belfast - and has reported it as a hate crime.

Mr Finucane said: “The burning of tricolours, effigies and posters of both Sinn Féin candidates and those from other parties is wrong.

“It sends the totally wrong message to young people and families attending bonfires that it is OK to witness the images of others being burnt on pyres.

"These are hate crimes and are being treated as such by the PSNI.”

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