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Food, Drink and Hospitality

Northern Ireland hotel loses £10k booking after US tourists cancel over Eleventh Night disturbances

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The bus hijacked and set on fire on the Eleventh Night by loyalist thugs
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A Newtownards hotel has suffered a major loss after dozens of US students pulled out of a trip to Northern Ireland due to violence on the Eleventh night.

Guy Metcalfe, who owns the Strangford Arms Hotel in Co Down, said the last-minute cancellation by the group of 75 had cost the family business almost £10,000.

"It has been a huge blow for us," he said.

"Not only is there a cost to our business, but to the whole community as well."

The hotelier tried in vain to convince the Americans they had nothing to fear after violence erupted last Thursday night.

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"I tried to assure them that these incidents had been isolated and were not on any routes," Mr Metcalfe said.

"They still decided to cancel their entire booking. Their critical reaction team felt it was too dangerous for them to come to Northern Ireland."

Mr Metcalfe told the Newtownards Chronicle that due to the short notice, he was unable to resell the rooms on July 13 and 14.

Trouble flares in Northern Ireland during Eleventh Night bonfires

The cancellation came within 24 hours of a bus being hijacked in the town by masked loyalists.

The driver and passengers were forced off at gunpoint in the West Winds estate before the £200,000 bus was set on fire.

Strangford DUP MP Jim Shannon said the "paramilitary godfathers" responsible for depriving the area of economic advantages should be held accountable.

"The mindless activities of a small group have ruined a trip for American tourists and have taken away business from the constituency," he said.

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People pictured enjoying the Kilcooley bonfire in Bangor Co Down, Northern Ireland. Pacemaker: Arthur Allison.

"Those involved in this criminal activity should be ashamed of themselves."

He also slammed those who torched tyres outside a care home, saying it was "horrendous that elderly residents were affected by a suffocating thick black cloud of smoke".

Belfast Telegraph

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The bus hijacked and set on fire on the Eleventh Night by loyalist thugs

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The Strangford Arms Hotel

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People pictured enjoying the Kilcooley bonfire in Bangor Co Down, Northern Ireland. Pacemaker: Arthur Allison.

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Pacemaker Press Belfast 11-07-2018: People pictured enjoying the Kilcooley bonfire in Bangor Co Down, Northern Ireland. Bonfires are traditionally lit in many loyalist areas of Northern Ireland on the Eleventh Night - the eve of the Twelfth of July. Picture By: Arthur Allison.

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Pacemaker Press Belfast 11-07-2018: People pictured enjoying the Kilcooley bonfire in Bangor Co Down, Northern Ireland. Bonfires are traditionally lit in many loyalist areas of Northern Ireland on the Eleventh Night - the eve of the Twelfth of July. Picture By: Arthur Allison.

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Pacemaker Press Belfast 11-07-2018: People pictured enjoying the Kilcooley bonfire in Bangor Co Down, Northern Ireland. Bonfires are traditionally lit in many loyalist areas of Northern Ireland on the Eleventh Night - the eve of the Twelfth of July. Picture By: Arthur Allison.

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Pacemaker Press Belfast 11-07-2018: People pictured enjoying the Kilcooley bonfire in Bangor Co Down, Northern Ireland. Bonfires are traditionally lit in many loyalist areas of Northern Ireland on the Eleventh Night - the eve of the Twelfth of July. Picture By: Arthur Allison.

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Pacemaker Press Belfast 11-07-2018: People pictured enjoying the Kilcooley bonfire in Bangor Co Down, Northern Ireland. Bonfires are traditionally lit in many loyalist areas of Northern Ireland on the Eleventh Night - the eve of the Twelfth of July. Picture By: Arthur Allison.

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Pacemaker Press Belfast 11-07-2018: People pictured enjoying the Kilcooley bonfire in Bangor Co Down, Northern Ireland. Bonfires are traditionally lit in many loyalist areas of Northern Ireland on the Eleventh Night - the eve of the Twelfth of July. Picture By: Arthur Allison.

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Pacemaker Press Belfast 11-07-2018: People pictured enjoying the Kilcooley bonfire in Bangor Co Down, Northern Ireland. Bonfires are traditionally lit in many loyalist areas of Northern Ireland on the Eleventh Night - the eve of the Twelfth of July. Picture By: Arthur Allison.

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Pacemaker Press Belfast 11-07-2018: People pictured enjoying the Kilcooley bonfire in Bangor Co Down, Northern Ireland. Bonfires are traditionally lit in many loyalist areas of Northern Ireland on the Eleventh Night - the eve of the Twelfth of July. Picture By: Arthur Allison.

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Pacemaker Press Belfast 11-07-2018: People pictured enjoying the Kilcooley bonfire in Bangor Co Down, Northern Ireland. Bonfires are traditionally lit in many loyalist areas of Northern Ireland on the Eleventh Night - the eve of the Twelfth of July. Picture By: Arthur Allison.

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Pacemaker Press Belfast 11-07-2018: People pictured enjoying the Kilcooley bonfire in Bangor Co Down, Northern Ireland. Bonfires are traditionally lit in many loyalist areas of Northern Ireland on the Eleventh Night - the eve of the Twelfth of July. Picture By: Arthur Allison.

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Pacemaker Press Belfast 11-07-2018: People pictured enjoying the Kilcooley bonfire in Bangor Co Down, Northern Ireland. Bonfires are traditionally lit in many loyalist areas of Northern Ireland on the Eleventh Night - the eve of the Twelfth of July. Picture By: Arthur Allison.

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Pacemaker Press Belfast 11-07-2018: People pictured enjoying the Kilcooley bonfire in Bangor Co Down, Northern Ireland. Bonfires are traditionally lit in many loyalist areas of Northern Ireland on the Eleventh Night - the eve of the Twelfth of July. Picture By: Arthur Allison.

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Pacemaker Press Belfast 11-07-2018: People pictured enjoying the Kilcooley bonfire in Bangor Co Down, Northern Ireland. Bonfires are traditionally lit in many loyalist areas of Northern Ireland on the Eleventh Night - the eve of the Twelfth of July. Picture By: Arthur Allison.

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Pacemaker Press Belfast 11-07-2018: People pictured enjoying the Kilcooley bonfire in Bangor Co Down, Northern Ireland. Bonfires are traditionally lit in many loyalist areas of Northern Ireland on the Eleventh Night - the eve of the Twelfth of July. Picture By: Arthur Allison.

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Pacemaker Press Belfast 11-07-2018: People pictured enjoying the Kilcooley bonfire in Bangor Co Down, Northern Ireland. Bonfires are traditionally lit in many loyalist areas of Northern Ireland on the Eleventh Night - the eve of the Twelfth of July. Picture By: Arthur Allison.

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Pacemaker Press Belfast 11-07-2018: People pictured enjoying the Kilcooley bonfire in Bangor Co Down, Northern Ireland. Bonfires are traditionally lit in many loyalist areas of Northern Ireland on the Eleventh Night - the eve of the Twelfth of July. Picture By: Arthur Allison.

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Pacemaker Press Belfast 11-07-2018: People pictured enjoying the Kilcooley bonfire in Bangor Co Down, Northern Ireland. Bonfires are traditionally lit in many loyalist areas of Northern Ireland on the Eleventh Night - the eve of the Twelfth of July. Picture By: Arthur Allison.

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Pacemaker Press Belfast 11-07-2018: People pictured enjoying the Kilcooley bonfire in Bangor Co Down, Northern Ireland. Bonfires are traditionally lit in many loyalist areas of Northern Ireland on the Eleventh Night - the eve of the Twelfth of July. Picture By: Arthur Allison.

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Pacemaker Press Belfast 11-07-2018: People pictured enjoying the Kilcooley bonfire in Bangor Co Down, Northern Ireland. Bonfires are traditionally lit in many loyalist areas of Northern Ireland on the Eleventh Night - the eve of the Twelfth of July. Picture By: Arthur Allison.

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Pacemaker Press Belfast 11-07-2018: People pictured enjoying the Kilcooley bonfire in Bangor Co Down, Northern Ireland. Bonfires are traditionally lit in many loyalist areas of Northern Ireland on the Eleventh Night - the eve of the Twelfth of July. Picture By: Arthur Allison.

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People attend an 11th night Bonfire in the Sandy Row area of Belfast. Pic: Niall Carson/PA Wire

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The replacement bonfire at the Walkway - relocated to Connswater shopping centre is lit in Belfast on July 12th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

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People attend an 11th night Bonfire in the Sandy Row area of Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday July 12, 2018. Hundreds of bonfires were set to be lit at midnight as part of a loyalist tradition to mark the anniversary of the Protestant King William's victory over the Catholic King James at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. See PA story ULSTER Bonfires. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire

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People attend an 11th night Bonfire in the Sandy Row area of Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday July 12, 2018. Hundreds of bonfires were set to be lit at midnight as part of a loyalist tradition to mark the anniversary of the Protestant King William's victory over the Catholic King James at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. See PA story ULSTER Bonfires. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire

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People attend an 11th night Bonfire in the Sandy Row area of Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday July 12, 2018. Hundreds of bonfires were set to be lit at midnight as part of a loyalist tradition to mark the anniversary of the Protestant King William's victory over the Catholic King James at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. See PA story ULSTER Bonfires. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire

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A man scales an 11th night Bonfire in the Sandy Row area of Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday July 12, 2018. Hundreds of bonfires were set to be lit at midnight as part of a loyalist tradition to mark the anniversary of the Protestant King William's victory over the Catholic King James at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. See PA story ULSTER Bonfires. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire

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People attend an 11th night Bonfire in the Sandy Row area of Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday July 12, 2018. Hundreds of bonfires were set to be lit at midnight as part of a loyalist tradition to mark the anniversary of the Protestant King William's victory over the Catholic King James at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. See PA story ULSTER Bonfires. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire

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A firefighter attends to an 11th night Bonfire in the Sandy Row area of Belfast. Pic: Niall Carson/PA Wire

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People attend an 11th night Bonfire in the Sandy Row area of Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday July 12, 2018. Hundreds of bonfires were set to be lit at midnight as part of a loyalist tradition to mark the anniversary of the Protestant King William's victory over the Catholic King James at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. See PA story ULSTER Bonfires. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire

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People attend an 11th night Bonfire in the Sandy Row area of Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday July 12, 2018. Hundreds of bonfires were set to be lit at midnight as part of a loyalist tradition to mark the anniversary of the Protestant King William's victory over the Catholic King James at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. See PA story ULSTER Bonfires. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire

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An EU flag is burned on an 11th night Bonfire in the Sandy Row area of Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday July 12, 2018. Hundreds of bonfires were set to be lit at midnight as part of a loyalist tradition to mark the anniversary of the Protestant King William's victory over the Catholic King James at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. See PA story ULSTER Bonfires. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire

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Police deal with a suspect car in the Newtownards road area in east Belfast. Niall Carson/PA Wire

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A man lights an 11th night Bonfire in the Sandy Row area of Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday July 12, 2018. Hundreds of bonfires were set to be lit at midnight as part of a loyalist tradition to mark the anniversary of the Protestant King William's victory over the Catholic King James at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. See PA story ULSTER Bonfires. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire

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People attend an 11th night Bonfire in the Sandy Row area of Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday July 12, 2018. Hundreds of bonfires were set to be lit at midnight as part of a loyalist tradition to mark the anniversary of the Protestant King William's victory over the Catholic King James at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. See PA story ULSTER Bonfires. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire

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People attend an 11th night Bonfire in the Sandy Row area of Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday July 12, 2018. Hundreds of bonfires were set to be lit at midnight as part of a loyalist tradition to mark the anniversary of the Protestant King William's victory over the Catholic King James at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. See PA story ULSTER Bonfires. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire

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The replacement bonfire at the Walkway - relocated to Connswater shopping centre is lit in Belfast on July 12th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

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The replacement bonfire at the Walkway - relocated to Connswater shopping centre is lit in Belfast on July 12th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

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Pacemaker Press 11/07/2018 The 11th night Bonfire near the Connswater shopping centre in East Belfast , after the Bonfire at Cluan Place was removed. Pic Pacemaker

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Pacemaker Press 11/07/2018 The 11th night Bonfire near the Connswater shopping centre in East Belfast , after the Bonfire at Cluan Place was removed. Pic Pacemaker

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Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 11th July 2018 General view of a small bonfire off Templemore Avenue, Newtownards Road in East Belfast. It comes after the PSNI issued a notice informing the public that paramilitaries intend to orchestrate serious disorder against police officers on the Eleventh night. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

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Pacemaker Press 11/07/2018 The 11th night Bonfire near the Connswater shopping centre in East Belfast , after the Bonfire at Cluan Place was removed. Pic Pacemaker

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Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 11th July 2018 General view of the Hope Street bonfire at Sandy Row in South Belfast. It comes after the PSNI issued a notice informing the public that paramilitaries intend to orchestrate serious disorder against police officers on the Eleventh night. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

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Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 11th July 2018 General view of the Hope Street bonfire at Sandy Row in South Belfast. It comes after the PSNI issued a notice informing the public that paramilitaries intend to orchestrate serious disorder against police officers on the Eleventh night. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

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Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 11th July 2018 General view fire officers cooling down a building at the Hope Street bonfire at Sandy Row in South Belfast. It comes after the PSNI issued a notice informing the public that paramilitaries intend to orchestrate serious disorder against police officers on the Eleventh night. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

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Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 11th July 2018 General view fire officers cooling down a building at the Hope Street bonfire at Sandy Row in South Belfast. It comes after the PSNI issued a notice informing the public that paramilitaries intend to orchestrate serious disorder against police officers on the Eleventh night. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

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Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 11th July 2018 General view fire officers cooling down a building at the Hope Street bonfire at Sandy Row in South Belfast. It comes after the PSNI issued a notice informing the public that paramilitaries intend to orchestrate serious disorder against police officers on the Eleventh night. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

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Police at the scene of a security alert in the Newtownards road area of Belfast on July 11th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

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Police at the scene of a security alert in the Newtownards road area of Belfast on July 11th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

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Police and ATO at the scene of a security alert in the Ravenhill Avenue area of Belfast on July 11th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

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Police and ATO at the scene of a security alert in the Ravenhill Avenue area of Belfast on July 11th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

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Police and ATO at the scene of a security alert in the Ravenhill Avenue area of Belfast on July 11th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

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Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 11th July 2018 A car burns in in East Belfast this evening on the Upper Newtownards Road. It comes after the PSNI issued a notice informing the public that paramilitaries intend to orchestrate serious disorder against police officers on the Eleventh night. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

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Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 11th July 2018 A car burns in in East Belfast this evening on the Upper Newtownards Road. It comes after the PSNI issued a notice informing the public that paramilitaries intend to orchestrate serious disorder against police officers on the Eleventh night. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

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11th night bonfires are prepared around Belfast as July 12th draws near. Sandy Row, South Belfast.

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11th night bonfires are prepared around Belfast as July 12th draws near. Sandy Row, South Belfast. Picture by Matt Mackey / PressEye.com

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11th night bonfires are prepared around Belfast as July 12th draws near. Sandy Row, South Belfast. Picture by Matt Mackey / PressEye.com

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11th July 2018 - Picture by Matt Mackey / PressEye.com 11th night bonfires are prepared around Belfast as July 12th draws near. Sandy Row, South Belfast.

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11th July 2018 - Picture by Matt Mackey / PressEye.com 11th night bonfires are prepared around Belfast as July 12th draws near. Sandy Row, South Belfast.

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11th July 2018 - Picture by Matt Mackey / PressEye.com 11th night bonfires are prepared around Belfast as July 12th draws near. Sandy Row, South Belfast.

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11th July 2018 - Picture by Matt Mackey / PressEye.com 11th night bonfires are prepared around Belfast as July 12th draws near. Sandy Row, South Belfast.

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11th July 2018 - Picture by Matt Mackey / PressEye.com 11th night bonfires are prepared around Belfast as July 12th draws near. Mount Vernon, North Belfast

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11th July 2018 - Picture by Matt Mackey / PressEye.com 11th night bonfires are prepared around Belfast as July 12th draws near. Sandy Row, South Belfast.

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11th July 2018 - Picture by Matt Mackey / PressEye.com 11th night bonfires are prepared around Belfast as July 12th draws near. Sandy Row, South Belfast.

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11th July 2018 - Picture by Matt Mackey / PressEye.com 11th night bonfires are prepared around Belfast as July 12th draws near. Mount Vernon, North Belfast