Huge fires are burning all over Northern Ireland as the loyalist community mark the start of what has rightly been described as “the largest uncommercialised folk festival in Western Europe”.
The Eleventh Night bonfires kick off tomorrow’s massive Twelfth of July celebrations. This year the now institutionally anti-Protestant city council in Belfast provocatively issued court injunctions against individuals allegedly linked to the building of a number of the largest bonfires. The excuse was ‘safety considerations’, but angry locals have pointed out the the bonfires targeted had been built with caution and responsibility and were well away from houses.
The unfortunate truth is that the ascendant Republicans constantly strive to continue the old sectarian war by all means possible, even while the loyalists – though still keen to preserve their own identity and traditions – are rapidly moving away from anti-Catholic bigotry.
In particular, Northern Ireland’s large and very Catholic Polish community are now warmly welcomed in loyalist areas, but are distrusted as “racists and Islamophobes” by the Marxist Republicans who still dominate working class Catholic areas.