The controversial Derry bonfire was lit overnight as politicians condemn the ‘offensive display of hate’.

A controversial bonfire was lit overnight in Derry, which previously featured a picture of the Queen blowing gum.

Trinkets were also placed on the Bogside bonfire, along with Union flags and poppy wreaths, an image of a PSNI Land Rover and a Parachute Regiment flag.

The fireworks were set off just before the bonfire burst into flames late Monday night.

The annual bonfire drew a sizeable crowd to the area, including some who were in attendance after the Gasyard Feile events had ended – to distract people from the exhibit.

The bonfire was condemned by political leaders including Jeffrey Donaldson, who called it an “outrageous and offensive display of hate” and said “it should be universally opposed.”

He added: “When this generation is told there is no alternative to violence, this is the result.

“[It is] Once upon a time, Michelle O’Neill gave the lead and defied that hate. There was always an alternative to killing people.”

Sinn Fein MLA Philip McGuigan retweeted a picture of the campfire with the words: “This is pathetic. Nowhere in our society is there room for burning flags, posters and effigies.”

Ulster Unionist leader Doug Beattie said: “And so it goes… Complaints about bonfires in July from some quarters, silence in August from the same quarters. That can never be true.”

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood also tweeted: “This is totally out of order. Why do they have to emulate the worst elements of loyalist culture?”

SDLP councilor John Boyle condemned the display of flags and pictures at the Bogside bonfire, saying “the display did not represent the local community”.

“The putting up of these pictures and flags on the Derry bonfire is a disgrace and I condemn it in the strongest possible terms,” ​​he said. “Those behind that bonfire do not speak for the people of Bogside who want to live at peace with their neighbours.

“It is extremely disappointing that we are seeing this just days after UVF and Parachute Regiment flags went on sale in our city. While I understand the hurt and pain people have inflicted, responding in the same way doesn’t help anyone.”

Sinn Fein MLA Gerry Kelly said organizers of the August bonfires were responsible for making sure there were no hate ads.

The party’s police spokesman said: “The organizers of the few bonfires on August 15 have a responsibility to ensure that they are peaceful and free of hate speech.

“There can be no repeat of the images of some Loyalist campfires in July, which were blatant displays of hate and sectarianism.

“There is no place in our society for burning flags, placards and effigies on bonfires.

“Anyone involved in organizing these bonfires should ensure this is the case.”

Bonfires on 15 August are traditional in some nationalist parts of Northern Ireland to mark the Catholic feast of the Assumption.

Others light the bonfires to commemorate the introduction of detention without trial against Republican suspects, instituted by the government in 1971. The controversial Derry bonfire was lit overnight as politicians condemn the ‘offensive display of hate’.

Fry Electronics Team

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