Sinn Féin Councillor Patrice Hardy has welcomed the announcement that the Department of Environment Minister is to look at the issue of bonfires.
Cllr Hardy said,
“Whilst I recognise that some sections of our community view the lighting of bonfires as their tradition, nobody can seriously question the fact that there is a need for the yearly issues and costs associated with them to be addressed.
“Over the past few years these bonfires have moved away from the traditional community based fires, to bigger and in some cases uncontrollable fires which are strewn with religious, political or sectarian emblems.
“For years now statutory agencies have failed to tackle this problem allowing dangerous materials such as tyres to be burnt or the siting of fires to be next to buildings or community facilities.
“Ratepayers are continually being asked to pick up the substantial tab for the clean up which could be better spent, so the announcement today is welcomed news.
“I hope that the Minister is serious about devising a way to end these practices, but more importantly I hope that all parties will work together in order to find a solution which will allow people to celebrate their cultural in a environmentally friendly and less confrontational way.”