Hate crime complaints over Northern Ireland bonfires

The fire service there has had over 100 call-outs

Hate crime complaints over Northern Ireland bonfires

A loyalist bonfire at Bloomfield Walkway in Belfast | Image: PA/PA Wire/PA Images

Hate crime complaints have been filed over bonfires built in the North for the annual July 12th celebrations.

Sinn Féin member John Finucane says he has contacted the PSNI, after his election posters were attached to one pile.

A son of the late Martin McGuinness has called for an end to "displays of hate" at the loyalist bonfires.

It comes after a coffin bearing a picture of his father was placed on one in Belfast last night.

Sinn Féin's Declan Kearney says it is a disgusting display.

"I and many others, including the McGuinness family, are deeply insulted as a result of this vile demonstration of sectarian hate".

An effigy of Martin McGuinness on a bonfire on Clonduff Road in east Belfast | Image: PA/PA Wire/PA Images

The fire service in the North has been kept busy, with over 100 call-outs overnight.

The bonfires are being followed by dozens of parades on Tuesday.

Police there have warned their resources could be stretched amid growing fears of tension around the burning of the bonfires.

The number of bonfire-related incidents have risen by 20%, according to the North's Fire and Rescue Service.

There were 40 related callouts last night and early this morning.

Firefighters dampen nearby homes as a bonfire at Ravenscroft Avenue in Belfast is lit ahead of the key date in the protestant loyal order marching season | Image: PA/PA Wire/PA Images

Emergency services have described it as 'exceptionally busy', with a 999 call filed every minute at one point.

Fire crews were also attacked on two occasions, but there were no reports of any injuries. 

Sinn Féin Senator Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has tweeted: "This is not culture. This is hate."

Ian Carlisle from the Grand Orange Lodge for Ireland is looking for tolerance from all.

"We're trying to rid out any social activity that would make anyone feel unwelcome.

"It's a public holiday - if it's not your thing tolerate it, respect it, enjoy your day off.

"But certainly anyone's more than welcome to come to the parades".