Belfast Telegraph

Labour's Owen Smith calls for action on Northern Ireland bonfires

"Bonfire issues need to be resolved", the shadow secretary of state for Northern Ireland, Owen Smith has said.

He was speaking to the BBC in East Belfast on Wednesday evening after spending the day watching Twelfth parades.

He said: "Bonfire issues need to be resolved.

The BBC's Richard Morgan tweeted a photo of the Welsh Labour MP chatting with police officers.

In his interview, Mr Smith spoke about the size of the fires and some of the controversial materials placed on them.  Windows at an apartment complex were cracked by heat from a bonfire at Sandy Row and homes were damaged in Dungannon, also by heat from a nearby bonfire.

Racist comments, SDLP and Sinn Fein election posters and an effigy of the late NI deputy first minister, Martin McGuinness, were burned at bonfires this year.

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Mr Smith commented: "The scale, the size of the bonfires, and proximity to where people are living is obviously potentially very dangerous.

"I think that does need to be addressed."

"The fact that they've got bigger and perhaps a bit more contentious, certainly more contentious in terms of some of the effigies and things that are being placed upon them, that needs to be looked at."

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