Rev Laurence Graham comments on the East Belfast bonfire and 12 July​

The President of the Methodist Church in Ireland, the Rev. Dr. Laurence Graham, commenting on the events of an East Belfast bonfire and the Orange Parade from the Ardoyne has said:

'It's almost like a "tale of two cities" This morning the parade of Orange Lodges passing the Ardoyne Shops, a parade which in the recent past provoked angry and physical protests passed in a respectful and dignified manner.

'This in marked contrast to a  bonfire in East Belfast which not only burned the election posters of parties they did not agree with but went beyond this by burning a coffin bearing the image of the late Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness. Such actions was in marked contrast to a comment from Mr.McGuinness son "We were not brought up to hate"

'I was also saddened by the report that for the first time in five years, members of the fire and rescue service were attacked while attending bonfires in Belfast and Larne. These crews have a difficult and at times a dangerous job to do without being subject to the mindless actions of others. Join with many others in praying for more of the kind of reconciling conversation which led to the peaceful passing of the parade in Ardoyne.