The DUP has moved to defend what many say is nothing more than a shocking annual display of sectarian hatred and bigotry, euphemistically referred to as the 12th of July Celebrations. And in particular the so-called ’11th Night Bonfires’ have come in for particular criticism.

A spokesman for the party and Grand Master of his Loyal Orange Lodge, Thompson Finlayson-Finlay said: ‘Ach, now it’s just a wee bit of harmless fun, and sure if you can’t burn the effigy of the head of one of the world’s oldest and biggest religions on a massive bonfire, sing hate-filled songs about killing him and those who follow the religion, while taking delight in doing so in plain sight of the Police, who won’t even bother lifting a finger to warn you about committing hate crimes, then that’s a sad state of affairs. Ach it is now, isn’t it? Come on.’

‘Those calling for the practice to be stopped are just the manifestation of a sad collection of do-gooders and bleeding hearts. The fact that these people are even being given the chance to be heard at all is just political correctness gone mad, so it is.’

Meanwhile Samuel ‘Big Sammy’ Samuelson, Councilor for Mid-Shankhill commented: ‘Look we don’t see what all the fuss about. It’s not as if we’re being disrespectful to Muslims is it? These pathetic snowflakes who are moaning here should catch themselves on and just get a life.’

‘Cos you see, this kind of overt and distasteful bigotry has been going on for hundreds of years now, albeit passed off as some kind of cultural folk festival. I mean, come on, what harm does it do anyway?’

‘What’s that? Do we want to put Ireland’s turbulent and troubled past behind us and extend the hand of friendship to our Catholic friends across the cultural divide? Oh aye, definitely we do, so we do. Only just not during the 12th Celebrations.’