In rallies right across Northern Ireland, dissident MPs like Jeffrey Donaldson and Martin Smyth accused Trimble of splitting the UUP, risking its implosion and of sabotaging the Union.
Some Orangemen felt this was unprincipled, as Trimble is a “brother Orangeman” but no voice was publicly raised in his support.
Eleventh night bonfires were the highest in living memory, with some teetering perilously close to homes and shops as loyalist areas competed for the tallest fire. Increasingly, they consist mainly of old-vehicle tires and wooded pallets.
Belfast’s main arterial highway, the Westlink, was closed for two hours as one fire blazed across its path. In East Belfast, a huge bonfire blazed within a hundred yards of St. Matthew’s Catholic chapel – but caused no damage.
In keeping with tradition, the bonfires were topped off with effigies of the pope, Gerry Adams and Irish tricolor flags. The numbers watching the marches, however, were noticeably down on previous years.
Once again, there was anger at the way the BBC reported the Twelfth. Sinn F