A loyalist bonfire in the Tigers Bay area of north Belfast is set to go ahead tonight.

The ‘Tigers Bay women’ began the build of the pyre on Thursday morning despite the homes of prominent loyalists in the area being visited by the UDA and UVF earlier this year.

The loyalists were warned there would be trouble if the bonfire on Adam Street went ahead as planned.

Locals said they would ignore the threats, with one bonfire builder telling Sunday Life earlier this year: “The UVF and the UDA on the Shankill Road don’t get to tell Tigers Bay what to do.

“The so-called loyalists issuing these threats should stick to their own areas instead of threatening others so they can get Dublin funding.”

Images shared with the Belfast Telegraph show hundreds of pallets stacked a few streets away from the former Adam Street site, now closer to the interface, with women and children beginning the build.

The bonfire build underway in north Belfast

Recent Eleventh Nights in the area have been a magnet for trouble, with nationalists close to Duncairn Gardens complaining that their homes were pelted with missiles by loyalist youths.

A High Court action taken by two Stormont ministers in 2021 to compel the PSNI to remove the Adam Street bonfire failed.

The proceedings were initiated by former Sinn Fein Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey and former SDLP Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon.

In response, the PSNI argued that dismantling the pyre “would create a real and immediate risk to life”.

The Department for Communities unveiled proposals last year to build social housing on the Adam Street site.

If a plan to develop 12 properties on the derelict land were to go ahead, it would end any bonfire dispute.

News Catch Up: Thursday 11 July 2024