Bonfires burned across Belfast on Monday night as Protestant loyalists in Northern Ireland began annual commemorations to mark victory by King William of Orange over Catholic King James of England at the Battle of the Boyne.
The bonfires were the traditional “Eleventh Night” build-up to July 12 parades, where Protestants march to mark the 1690 fight that sealed Protestant domination of the British Isles.
The tradition, though, is considered provocative by Catholics, many of whom favour unification with Ireland.
A peace deal signed in 1998 largely ended three decades of violence between Catholics and Protestants that led to the deaths of more than 3,600 people but much of Belfast remains divided along religious lines.
Unrest still flares from time to time with the parades a regular flashpoint.
Last year eight Northern Irish police were injured when they were pelted with bottles, beer cans and other missiles after stopping an annual Orange Order parade from passing a Catholic estate.
One towering bonfire of wooden pallets set up in west Belfast on Monday night carried a poster of Gerry Kelly, a member of the Northern Irish assembly representing the main pro-Irish nationalist party, Sinn Fein, in north Belfast.