Loyalist bonfire 'halted over safety'

Loyalist bonfire 'halted over safety'

Organisers of a huge loyalist bonfire in Newtownabbey have called a halt to the building of the towering structure in the Ballyduff estate, over safety fears from local residents.

A Facebook page about the bonfire has been tracking its progress over recent weeks, charting efforts to make the pile of pallets one of the largest built for the Eleventh Night.

But it emerged that there were serious fears for the nearby houses ahead of the lighting of the bonfire, with suggestions firefighters may have to douse homes with foam in a bid to protect them from flames and sparks.

A post made by the organisers on Wednesday said a decision had been taken not to continue adding to the structure.

Under no circumstances will we put our own people's properties at risk.

Ballyduff bonfire organisers

"No more materials will be added to it ..." the statement read.

"This decision was made for the safety of the residents and their properties. Our hands have not been forced in any way by anyone."

DUP MLA Paul Girvan welcomed the development on Twitter.

"Bonfire being removed to new location 500 yards away. Tyres removed. Residents happy," he said.

© UTV

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