Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 July 2014

Sparks fly over Antrim Eleventh Night bonfire fund

A Sinn Fein councillor has questioned the use of funding put aside for Antrim Council’s Bonfire Sub-committee at a recent borough meeting.

The funding scheme, which has been ongoing for several years, aims to monitor the dozen signature 12th of July bonfires in the area and ensure that no tyres are burnt at a cost to the environment and emergency services.

But Councillor Henry Cushinan was less than happy with current recommendations put forward.

While Mr Cushinan acknowledged the progress the committee had made in recent years, he complained that the burning of flags and emblems was still a problem and argued against the continuation of payment to a committee when people violate the regulations.

“Funding is still paid out, even when people transgress,” Councillor Cushinan said.

“How can we continue paying for this ad infinitem? There is no exit strategy,” he added.

In the heated debate, other councillors pointed out the success of the scheme while UUP MLA Alderman Mervyn Rea retorted: “It might not be your tradition, but can you not for once hold out your hands and say well done boys, well done on achieving something here.”

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