Loyalists urged not to burn Pope effigies on Eleventh night bonfir

Posted By: July 03, 2014


Ballyduff bonfire in Newtownabby
Ballyduff bonfire in Newtownabby

Loyalists have been urged not to burn effigies of the Pope or Catholic religious items on Eleventh night bonfires this year.

The calls come as the Belfast Telegraph toured bonfires across the city yesterday and heard plans to burn effigies of the Pope and tricolours.

Scores of bonfires are currently being built across Northern Ireland in the run-up to July 11.

Bonfires are part of the Twelfth celebrations and are traditionally lit just after midnight, harking back to when bonfires were lit on the hills of Antrim and Down to help King William of Orange’s ships navigate through Belfast Lough ahead of the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.

Some of the tallest bonfires are in Belfast where one beacon at Lanark Way already stands at 50 feet, with plans to double that size by July 11.

In Newtownabbey, The Beast of Ballyduff, as its known, already stands tall on a new £30,000 concrete platform built by the local council for safety.

Last year there were concerns about its proximity to local houses, while the year before that it was unstable because it was built on a slope.