Fire and rescue workers in Northern Ireland received a total of 203 emergency calls on the first night of the July 12 celebrations.
s hundreds of bonfires were lit in loyalist areas, the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) responded to 98 operational incidents.
A spokesman said nighttime campfire incidents were down 12.5% compared to 2021, with nighttime activity peaking between 11pm and 1am.
They added that between 6 p.m. Monday and 2 a.m. Tuesday, 35 of the 98 operational incidents NIFRS responded to were related to campfires.
“NIFRS maintained normal emergency response throughout the evening and participated in a number of operational incidents, including special service calls, a road traffic accident and other emergencies,” the spokesman said.
Eleventh Night is traditionally the second busiest and most resource intensive day of the year for the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) – with Twelfth Night being the busiest.
July 12 is the most important date in the parade season of Protestant allegiance.
Earlier in the night, PSNI said 2,500 police officers will be on duty on the 12th, about a third the PSNI’s strength.
There will be 573 Loyal Order Parades later. Of these, 33 routes are classified as sensitive.
Crowds gathered across Northern Ireland on Monday night to watch the towering bonfires in loyalist areas being lit, with the biggest bonfire of the eleventh night taking place at the Craigyhill estate in Larne, Co Antrim.
But before the fires were lit, police said they were investigating multiple reports of flags, effigies and election posters being placed on bonfires.
Hundreds of people watched as the Craigyhill bonfire was lit at midnight and organizers were confident they had broken the world record for tallest bonfire after the pyre was measured at 202.3 feet.
Near houses, windows were boarded up and firefighters hosed down properties to protect them from the heat of the massive bonfire.
The build-up to the Eleventh Night celebrations was marred by the death of a bonfire builder in Co Antrim on Saturday night.
John Steele, a window cleaner in his 30s, was killed when he fell from a separate campfire in Larne that was more than 50 feet high.
In all, more than 250 bonfires have been lit in loyalist neighborhoods across Northern Ireland.
The bonfires are traditionally lit on the eve of July 12 – a day when members of staunch Protestant orders parade to commemorate the 1690 Battle of the Boyne.
In the battle that took place on the River Boyne north of Dublin, the Protestant King William of Orange defeated the Catholic King James II to secure a Protestant succession to the British Crown.
Most bonfires each year pass without incident, but some continue to cause controversy.
This year saw a number of complaints from nationalist and cross-sectarian politicians about their images being placed on the bonfires.
SDLP’s Paul Doherty condemned the backers who hung his campaign poster on a bonfire in West Belfast.
He said: “While I respect everyone’s right to celebrate their culture in their own way, we regularly see placards from nationalist representatives and hate speech on these bonfires and we need leaders in the union community to call it out and end it for once.” put and for all.
“I have also heard concerns about building this bonfire so close to the local community center and would like to ask participants to ensure that this bonfire is as safe as possible without causing harm to the local community or surrounding areas.”
People Before Profit MLA Gerry Carroll said his campaign posters were also put up on the bonfire.
He said: “Unfortunately, many union politicians have shown a deafening silence in the face of this type of sectarian intimidation.
“It is time to take the lead and call for an end to this provocation.”
Alliance Party MLA Stewart Dickson tweeted: “Sad to see once again election posters from Alliance and other parties along with flags from the EU to the Vatican and Republic of Ireland on bonfires in East Antrim.”
The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) tweeted: “The Police Service has received a number of complaints about flags, effigy, election posters and other emblems being displayed on bonfires.
“We are collecting evidence in relation to these complaints and will investigate whether criminal offenses have been committed.”
Another fire, lit at midnight, was on Adam Street in the loyalist Tigers Bay area of north Belfast. Nationalist residents of the nearby New Lodge property have previously claimed the fire is too close to the interface between the two communities – something the bonfire builders have denied.
https://www.independent.ie/news/twelfth-of-july-fire-and-rescue-crews-receive-more-than-200-calls-in-northern-ireland-41832584.html July 12: Fire and rescue workers receive more than 200 calls in Northern Ireland