Communities reject bonfires in Newry

Peter Bayne

Reporter:

Peter Bayne

Email:

peter.bayne@newrydemocrat.com

NEWRY City Sinn Féin Councillor Roisin Mulgrew has said that the vast majority of residents and communities living in the City totally reject the erection of bonfires.

The Councillor who is Chairperson of the Newry City Electoral Area confirmed as a result of the recent Multi Agency meeting to discuss the issue, it has been agreed that Councillors, Officials,Housing Executive and PSNI, will work collectively to discourage bonfires and indeed to remove all material gathered.

She said,

“Myself and my Sinn Féin colleagues and indeed most elected representatives for Newry City have been inundated with calls from concerned residents regarding the collection of this material.

As Chairperson of Newry DEA I recently requested a multi agency meeting to be held to discuss the collection of materials to be used on bonfires. As a result of the recent Multi Agency meeting to discuss the issue, it has been agreed that Councillors, Officials,Housing Executive and PSNI, will work collectively to discourage bonfires and indeed to remove all material gathered.

There is a huge environmental, financial, health and safety cost to all from these bonfires.

Toxic fumes from tyres in particular and and the wires and nails left behind after burning presenting a real safety risk to children and pets.

The cost for a clean up of the material and the repair work to damaged ground falls to the ratepayer”.

The Councillor continued

“It is concerning that many of those who are involved in collecting bonfire material are young and I would appeal to them to stop this activity. I would ask that parents and guardians be aware of children's activities and encourage them to desist if needed.

Local Businesses should ensure that no material is given for these bonfires and ensure that it is securely storage to prevent theft”.

“Our communities totally reject bonfires and all that these entails. It is important that community activists and associations are supported in all practical ways and in particular with funding as they work to ensure the health, safety and well being of their communities”.

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