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Yesterday's 12th of July was the 'most peaceful for some years and a model for years to come'

However, Sinn Féin is angry that a coffin with an effigy of Martin McGuinness was spotted on a loyalist bonfire.

THE PSNI HAVE described yesterday’s Twelfth of July celebrations as the most peaceful for some years and a model for years to come.

The Twelfth celebrations Orange Order members march past Ardoyne shops on the Crumlin Road in Belfast Source: Niall Carson via PA Images

Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd said, “I am pleased that what was a lovely sunny day also turned out to be a lovely day for the thousands who attended the various demonstrations across the country.

We dealt with a number of minor incidents throughout the day and have made a small number of arrests but these were very much in the margins of what has been widely described as the most peaceful Twelfth of July for some years and a model for years to come.

He added that it was “a busy day for police officers who were out and about keeping people safe”.

Despite this, one bonfire in East Belfast was spotted bearing a coffin with an effigy of Martin McGuinness on it ahead of the twelfth.

The Twelfth celebrations Source: PA Wire via PA Images

Sinn Féin Senator Rose Conway-Walsh said, “This is a blatant display of hatred and bigotry which propagates sectarian divisions in our country.

“If there is one thing that Martin McGuinness showed us, it was how to accept and embrace those with different opinions, creeds, and cultures from ours. He showed us the importance of reaching out and of the reconciliation phase of the peace process.”

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In a statement on Tuesday, DUP leader Arlene Foster urged those who build bonfires to “not play into the hands of those who want to demonise [their] culture”.

General Election 2017 Source: Niall Carson

Senator Conway-Walsh has hit out at the political response, saying:

It is not acceptable that unionist politicians fail to show leadership in refusing to condemn this hate crime.

“Through being guarantors of the Good Friday Agreement the British Government and Irish Government have a legal obligation to ensure that the elements of that Agreement and other agreements are fulfilled, because it serves to tackle all these hate crimes.”

Read: The 12th of July is being promoted as a tourist attraction – so we went to follow the parade>

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