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Stormont minister who launched an unsuccessful legal bid to force police in Northern Ireland to assist in removing a loyalist bonfire has said she is disappointed that agreement could not be reached to move it to a less contentious site.

SDLP Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon said residents close to the bonfire at Tiger’s Bay in north Belfast had been “attacked and abused” over a number of months.

But a DUP MLA has said that the legal challenge should never have come to court and accused the two ministers who brought the action of “squandering public money”.

Ms Mallon and Sinn Fein Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey launched proceedings against the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) over its decision not to intervene on the bonfire in the loyalist area of Tiger’s Bay in north Belfast.

The police declined to offer protection to removal contractors, citing concerns that their intervention could lead to disorder.

Ulster politics / PA Wire

The ministers’ bid to compel the police to act failed at emergency High Court proceedings on Friday.

DUP ministers had earlier questioned the authority of the ministers to take legal action against the PSNI without the approval of the wider Executive.

The bonfire is now set to be lit on Sunday night as part of traditional “Eleventh Night” events.

Nationalist residents claim they are living in fear and have been attacked by missiles thrown by loyalist bonfire builders.

Loyalists have rejected suggestions the siting of the bonfire was deliberately provocative and have accused nationalists and republicans of whipping up tensions in an effort to deny them what they view as a legitimate celebration of their culture.

I’m disappointed for the New Lodge and Duncairn residents who have been attacked, abused and suffered disruption for the last number of months as this bonfire has been constructed

Ms Mallon said: “Last night’s High Court ruling is, of course, a disappointing outcome following months of discussion to reach agreement on these issues to the benefit of local people.

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