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£20,000 in pallets go up in smoke

By Staff Reporter

UP TO £20,000 worth of stolen pallets are to be burnt on the monster Lanark Way bonfire on the Eleventh Night.
The distinctive blue pallets pictured on the bonfire are the property of pallet rental company CHEP and are said to be worth between £15 and £20 apiece. They are much heavier and stronger than the disposable unpainted pallets which make up the bulk of the bonfire.
There are roughly 40 layers of blue pallets, each layer containing around 26 pallets.
The pallets are required to be returned to CHEP by user firms and a spokesperson for CHEP Ireland told the Andersonstown News this week that the company has legal title to the pallets and appealed to bonfire organisers not to burn them.
Speaking on Tuesday in the Dáil, Gerry Adams said: “We are all concerned by the orchestrated walk-out by representatives of all of the unionist parties supported by the Orange Order, the UDA and the UVF. That, and equally importantly, the cancellation of the North-South Ministerial Council meeting, marks a worrying escalation.”
The former West Belfast MP told Enda Kenny: “The Taoiseach will be aware that ten years ago there were 2,120 marches in the north, whereas last year this figure had reached 4,637. Over 3,000 of these events are loyalist parades, while most of the remaining ones are religious or community-based.
“There are fewer than 200 nationalist parades, none of which are contentious. Claims that objections by a handful of nationalist areas to Orange parades passing through their communities are an attack on Orange culture are clearly not right.
“The two governments must be champions of the Good Friday Agreement. We must see a positive axis for progress emerging clearly, assertively and resolutely because the vast majority of people in the north and across the island want the process to continue and to see tolerance and respect.”
The Sinn Féin leader added: “The focus in the coming days must be to keep calm on the streets but also to prepare for September – the unionists will not do any work during July – and ensure that a pro-agreement axis emerges, provides leadership and progresses matters. That is how we will encourage positive leadership within unionism.”

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