The North Belfast MLA said,
“There has been much media hype surrounding the Adam Street bonfire. This bonfire is located in Adam Street, which is an integral part of the Tigers Bay community - not an interface.
The bonfire builders proposed many measures in good faith: moving it back, reducing the size and scale, removing toxic materials, no offensive flags or emblems, engaging with the PSNI and the NIFRS - all of which were rejected and none of which were reciprocated.
Yesterday, Sinn Fein Deputy Leader Michelle O'Neill said people should ‘dial down the tension’. Perhaps she should address those comments to those ratcheting up tensions at a time when DUP representatives are working to reduce them.
Sinn Fein’s leader in the Republic of Ireland, Mary Lou McDonald, who has no mandate in Northern Ireland, said: ‘Everybody has a right to live free from sectarian harassment.’ Does she include the Tigers Bay community, that has come under sustained sectarian attack over recent weeks, months and years, in that?
This bonfire is not contentious in the community within which it sits. It is only deemed contentious by those who talk about respect but cannot bring themselves to respect the sight of their neighbour’s culture. The Chief Constable would do well to remember that when making statements.”