Mystery surrounds sabbotage of Twelfth bonfires in Cookstown

Bonfire site
Bonfire site

Mystery surrounds the lighting of two Eleventh Night bonfires in Cookstown early on Tuesday morning.

The bonfire at Monrush in the north end of the town was targeted along with the one at Cooke Crescent, situated directly behind Derryloran Parish Church.

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service confirmed that one appliance from Cookstown was called to the fire at Cooke Crescent at 3:52am where they dealt with pallets which were alight.

A short time later, a call was made to the Fire Service at 5:56am alerting them to the fire at Princess Avenue in Monrush. Again, one appliance attended the scene of the blaze.

The fire involving a large quantity of pallets was dealt with and the incident was declared over at 6:31am.

Staff from the Operational Services department of Cookstown District Council were quick to clean up on Tuesday morning at the Monrush site.

A spokesperson for the PSNI said there were no reports received in relation to either of the incidents.

However, the spokesperson did say that local police were aware that a few pallets had been set on fire at Cooke Crescent at the back of Derryloran Parish Church.

Cookstown Ulster Unionist Councillor Trevor Wilson said it did not appear to be sectarian and he condemned the attacks as a bid to heighten tensions in the area in the run up to the marching season.

“The young people have been busy gathering wood for weeks and this just stirs up tensions.

“I would ask people to refrain from this type of activity,” he said.

He added that bonfires were an important part of the traditional celebrations.