Belfast Telegraph

Belfast woman's house in danger from bonfire but she's 'happy because it's insured'

A woman with a property near to a contentious bonfire site on the Bloomfield Walkway named in Belfast City Council's injunction acknowledged the dangers but she said she is "happy" because her property is "insured".

The woman made the comment as BBC broadcaster Stephen Nolan visited that site and the Inverary playing field site - both of which have been ordered to stop collecting more materials for the Eleventh Night fires as part of the injuction.

As part of the segment Nolan spoke to a number of local residents and bonfire builders about the controversy surrounding the injunction.

The Bloomfield Walkway site sits close to a number of houses, and one young mother was asked if she felt that having the bonfire where it was put her property in danger.

"I live here with two young kids," she said.

"It is very close. I agree it is very close and it's dangerous. But at the end of the day, the firemen have reassured us that they are going to be here. And if anything catches fire, they are here to put it out. And I am happy with that."

She then added that her house was insured.

Various builders told host Nolan about the sense of community they enjoyed while building the bonfires over the course of the year.

"Two days ago,  we had a bonfire that would have been the biggest in Belfast, and it was burnt," said one young man.

"The point is that you work hard from January right through to July, to have a laugh with your mates. And then that’s it, l forgot about. There’s no more hassle. It gets cleaned up."

Another called for the community to be given their own designated bonfire site.

"This community has asked for a bonfire site more times than enough. A designated bonfire site. Ballyduff got one within a year," he said.

"If we had a bonfire site we’d respect it. We’d respect the residents. There wouldn’t be none of this here. Ballyduff has no hassle by the police, by the community."

Nolan also met bonfire builders at the Inverary playing field sites, where he noted that there was less potential danger to property than at the Bloomfield walkway site.

Speaking at this site, a number of people questioned why unionist politicians hadn't been clearer about their position on the Council's injuction.

"You can’t turn around and say that they’re scared to come to a bonfire but they come around and blather everyone’s door saying, ‘here, we need your vote’," said one man.

"They need to come out and tell the communities that have been voting for them, that have been doing everything to help them. Let us know where they stand. "

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