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Revealed: Number of Eleventh night bonfires in Belfast that burned tyres

By Rebecca Black

Published 10/11/2015

A bonfire builder at work in the New Mosley area of Belfast. Niall Carson/PA Wire.
A bonfire builder at work in the New Mosley area of Belfast. Niall Carson/PA Wire.
An image posted on the Ballycraigy bonfire Facebook page claiming to be an effigy of Gerry Adams
The controversial Chobham Street bonfire being lit on the Eleventh Night in Belfast. Kevin Scott/Presseye.
Youths climb a bonfire in the New Mosley area of Belfast. Niall Carson/PA Wire.
An image posted on the Ballycraigy bonfire Facebook page claiming to be an effigy of Gerry Adams
BONFIRES ACROSS NI: Election posters of Alliance MLA Anna Lo and Sinn Fein's MEP Martina Anderson were placed on a bonfire in the Bloomfield estate in Bangor
Preparations get underway at the Bonfire in Lanark Way in Belfast, ahead of the 12th of July annual Orange celebrations Pacemaker Press 7/7/2014
Anger has erupted after the statue of the Virgin Mary was put on top of the huge structure at Lanark Way in west Belfast. Pictured here is the memorial to a suicide victim from which statue was stolen
The huge bonfire on Lanark Way
Ballyduff bonfire in Newtownabbey July 2014
Election posters of Alliance member Anna Lo on the Bonfire in Carrickfergus ahead of the 12th of July annual Orange celebrations Pacemaker Press 7/7/2014
Mount Vernon North Belfast july 2014
Young loyalists scale the huge face of the bonfire on Lanark Way, off the Shankill
Preparations get underway at the Bonfire in Lanark Way in Belfast, ahead of the 12th of July annual Orange celebrations Pic Pacemaker
Sandy Row South Belfast 2014
A statue of our the Virgin Mary placed on a loyalist bonfire at Lanark Way PACEMAKER
Bonfire on Shankill Road 2012
Bonfire on Shankill Road 2012
A statue of our lady placed on a loyalist bonfire at Lanark Way
Pacemaker press 11/07/2013: The Bonfire on Sandy Row in Belfast the 12th of July celebrations began at midnight across the province. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
A youth fixes a flag onto a bonfire on the lower Shankill area of Belfas. AFP PHOTO/PAUL FAITHPAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images.
Houses are evacuated and protected at Chobham Street in east Belfast. AFP PHOTO/PAUL FAITHPAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images.
A man stands on top of the bonfire as houses are evacuated and protected at Chobham Street in east Belfast. AFP PHOTO/PAUL FAITHPAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images.
Houses are evacuated and protected at Chobham Street in east Belfast, Northern Ireland, as one of the biggest bonfires in east Belfast grows in size, ahead of the traditional 11th night bonfires. AFP PHOTO / PAUL FAITHPAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images
A man sits on a bonfire on the lower Shankill area of Belfast. AFP PHOTO / PAUL FAITHPAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images.
A youth stands on top of a bonfire on the Newtownards Road in east Belfast. AFP PHOTO/PAUL FAITHPAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images.
A youth fixes a flag onto a bonfire on the lower Shankill area of Belfast. AFP PHOTO/PAUL FAITHPAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images.
Local youths burn palets next to the New Mossley bonfire, one of the largest in the province is seen on the outskirts of Belfast. AFP PHOTO / PAUL FAITHPAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images.
The New Mossley bonfire, one of the largest in the province is seen on the outskirts of Belfast. AFP PHOTO / PAUL FAITHPAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images.
Bonfire builders at Mount Vernon in north Belfast. Photo: Matt Mackey/Presseye
Bonfire builders at Mount Vernon in north Belfast. Photo: Matt Mackey/Presseye
Bonfire builders at Mount Vernon in north Belfast. Photo: Matt Mackey/Presseye
Chobham Street where more than 50 homes have been boarded up to protect them from a 11 July bonfire. Photo: Matt Mackey/Presseye
Matthew Dixon and Gary Ashwood in south Belfast. Pic: Mark Marlow/Pacemaker press
Elliott Ross and Ryan Ashwood with Matthew Dixon and Gary Ashwood. Mark Marlow/Pacemaker press
Ryan Ashwood from south Belfast. Pictures: Mark Marlow/Pacemaker press
Bonfire builders at Mount Vernon in north Belfast. Photo: Matt Mackey/Presseye
Belfast - Northern Ireland - Saturday 11th July 2015 - 12th Night Bonfires Pictured is Fire Fighters at the Sandy Row bonfire in South Belfast as the intense heat begins to melt objects and forces the crowds back as 12th of July celebrations get under way across Northern Ireland to mark the victory of King William over King James Picture by Kevin Scott / Presseye.
Belfast - Northern Ireland - Saturday 11th July 2015 - 12th Night Bonfires Pictured is firefighters using a jet hose on a building at the Sandy Row bonfire in South Belfast, as 12th of July celebrations get under way across Northern Ireland to mark the victory of King William over King James Picture by Kevin Scott / Presseye.
Belfast - Northern Ireland - Saturday 11th July 2015 - 12th Night Bonfires Pictured is firefighters using a jet hose on a building at the Sandy Row bonfire in South Belfast, as 12th of July celebrations get under way across Northern Ireland to mark the victory of King William over King James Picture by Kevin Scott / Presseye.
Belfast - Northern Ireland - Saturday 11th July 2015 - 12th Night Bonfires Pictured is firefighters using a jet hose on a building at the Sandy Row bonfire in South Belfast, as 12th of July celebrations get under way across Northern Ireland to mark the victory of King William over King James Picture by Kevin Scott / Presseye.
Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye Pictured is the Donegall Road bonfire in South Belfast, as seen from the King Billy mural in sandy row as the 12th of July celebrations get under way across Northern Ireland to mark the victory of King William over King James Picture by Kevin Scott / Presseye.
A man playing the flute as the Ballymacash bonfire burns in Lisburn. William Cherry/Presseye.
The controversial Chobham Street bonfire being lit on the Eleventh Night in Belfast. Kevin Scott/Presseye.
Bonfire builders get to work lighting the Ballymacash bonfire in Lisburn. William Cherry/Presseye.
The controversial Chobham Street bonfire being lit on the Eleventh Night in Belfast. Kevin Scott/Presseye.
A man playing the flute as the Ballymacash bonfire burns in Lisburn. William Cherry/Presseye.
The controversial Chobham Street Bonfire being lit on the Eleventh Night in Belfast. Kevin Scott/Presseye.
The controversial Chobham Street Bonfire being lit on the Eleventh Night in Belfast. Kevin Scott/Presseye.
The controversial Chobham Street bonfire being lit on the Eleventh Night in Belfast. Kevin Scott/Presseye.
Firefighters hose down the houses in the area after smoke begins to rise from the roof of a property next to the Chobham Street bonfire. Kevin Scott/Presseye.
The Shankill bonfire being lit on the Eleventh Night in Belfast. Kevin Scott/Presseye.
Police water canon on stand by at the Grosevnor Road police station in Belfast, Northern Ireland as 12th of July celebrations get under way across Northern Ireland. Kevin Scott/Presseye.
Loyalist areas across Northern Ireland get ready to kick off the 12th of July celebrations with the traditional bonfires. Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press.
The controversial Chobham Street bonfire being lit on the Eleventh Night in Belfast. Kevin Scott/Presseye.
The controversial Chobham Street bonfire being lit on the Eleventh Night in Belfast. Kevin Scott/Presseye.
The controversial Chobham Street bonfire being lit on the Eleventh Night in Belfast. Kevin Scott/Presseye.
The controversial Chobham Street bonfire being lit on the Eleventh Night in Belfast. Kevin Scott/Presseye.
Loyalist areas across Northern Ireland get ready to kick off the 12th of July celebrations with the traditional bonfires. Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press.
Iain McFarland, an Orange bandsman, plays his flute during the 11th night bonfire at the New Mossley housing estate on July 12, 2015 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
One of the huge bonfires that towers over the houses and looks over the city of Belfast in preparation for the 11th of July celebrations when the bonfires are lit in many Protestant, unionist and loyalist areas of Northern Ireland. Photo: William Cherry / Presseye
Firefighters hose down the houses after smoke begins to rise from the roof of a property near the Chobham Street bonfire. Kevin Scott/Presseye.
A man lights the controversial Chobham Street Bonfire on the Eleventh Night in Belfast. Kevin Scott/Presseye.
The controversial Chobham Street bonfire being lit on the Eleventh Night in Belfast. Kevin Scott/Presseye.
Bonfire builders take a rest in the New Mosley area of Belfast. Niall Carson/PA Wire.
Preparations begin around Belfast ahead of this year's annual 11th night bonfire celebrations. Jonathan Porter/Press Eye.
Haidee de Sesto and Linda Ritele pictured as they wait for the Ballymacash bonfire in Lisburn to be lit for the 11th of July celebration. William Cherry/Presseye.
Haidee de Sesto and Linda Ritele pictured as they wait for the Ballymacash bonfire in Lisburn to be lit for the 11th of July celebration. William Cherry/Presseye.
Haidee de Sesto and Linda Ritele pictured as they wait for the Ballymacash bonfire in Lisburn to be lit for the 11th of July celebration. William Cherry/Presseye.
Haidee de Sesto and Linda Ritele pictured as they wait for the Ballymacash bonfire in Lisburn to be lit for the 11th of July celebration. William Cherry/Presseye.
Loyalist areas across Northern Ireland get ready to kick off the 12th of July celebrations with the traditional bonfires. Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press.
Loyalist areas across Northern Ireland get ready to kick off the 12th of July celebrations with the traditional bonfires. Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press.
A young boy gazes in awe at a bonfire in the Roden Street area of south Belfast. Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press.

Evidence of tyres being burnt in Eleventh Night bonfires was found at only two sites, Belfast City Council has found.

A report due to be discussed this afternoon said the council undertook more than 150 cleansing operations to remove tyres and various other illegal materials from bonfire sites.

And according to the report, there was only evidence of tyres being burned at two bonfires in Belfast. However, concerns remain about illegal dumping at bonfire sites and a development plan is being undertaken with the Northern Ireland Environment Agency to address it.

There are more than 100 bonfires lit across Belfast every July 11. They range from small street bonfires to giant pyres such as 'The Beast' in the Ballycraigy estate.

Sinn Fein councillor Steven Corr said only loyalists could address the issue of tyres being burned on Eleventh Night bonfires. He was speaking ahead of a debate at the People and Communities committee at City Hall on how to deal with bonfire rule-breaking.

Mr Corr said tyres were burned at far more than two sites, but he said at many the tyres were hidden off site.

"It's all down to having evidence that tyres were burned," he told the Belfast Telegraph.

"There are quite a lot of issues around bonfires, where council workers can't go without being hassled, and the old 'get out of jail free card' is often used where people turn up on the day to dump the tyres.

"So in the week leading up when council workers visit, the tyres are not there, yet everyone knows they are there on the night. Local people are often scared to take pictures to be used as evidence."

Mr Corr claimed that all the bonfires in his own area of Ballymurphy that used to be lit to mark the anniversary of the introduction of the policy of internment every August were stopped gradually over a number of years through community involvement. He said the only way bonfires in Belfast can be brought under control is through unionist and loyalist councillors in their own areas.

"In Ballymurphy we looked at the situation holistically. Bonfire sites tended to be areas of wasteland so we got those brought back into use, introduced alley gates and created alternatives," he said.

"It took a few years but we got there in the end. Now I can't go into areas such as the Shankill or east Belfast, so it has to be the local councillors in those areas that addresses this.

"There were no tyres or no pallets in 1690 so this is not tradition, it just smogs up the city and inflicts damage on the local areas. These are local problems that need local solutions."

Committee chairperson Julie-Anne Corr-Johnston (PUP) said they will be asking the report's authors questions at the meeting this afternoon.

She said: "Mr Corr's comments demonstrate a distinct lack of understanding regarding the purpose and intent of this report. The report to committee is titled 'illegal dumping of tyres' and the task for our councillors is simply to agree a positive action plan to address the issue.

"Council officers have made a number of recommendations which include joint visits with PSNI to tyre companies outlining the legalities regarding the storing and disposal of used tyres.

"It is regrettable that Sinn Fein would seek to use this report to vilify the loyalist community and its cultural expression once again. It begs the question: are they incapable of discharging their duty as councillors without bias?"

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