Belfast Telegraph

Belfast Bonfires cannot put people or property at risk says Tim Attwood

William Young used a drone to take this remarkable photo of the bonfire at Sandy Row. 11/07/2017
William Young used a drone to take this remarkable photo of the bonfire at Sandy Row. 11/07/2017
Sandy Row Photo: William Young
Sandy Row Photo: William Young
Roden Street Photo: William Young
Shankill Photo: William Young
The scene on Love Lane in Carrickfergus as the local community rebuild a bonfire after the original bonfire they build was burnt on Monday evening. Picture by Matt Mackey / presseye.com 10/07/2017
The scene on Love Lane in Carrickfergus as the local community rebuild a bonfire after the original bonfire they build was burnt on Monday evening. Picture by Matt Mackey / presseye.com 10/07/2017
The scene on Love Lane in Carrickfergus as the local community rebuild a bonfire after the original bonfire they build was burnt on Monday evening. Picture by Matt Mackey / presseye.com 10/07/2017
Pacemaker Press Belfast 11-07-2017: Final preparations takes place for the Bonfire on Sandy Row in Belfast .The bonfires will be lit in loyalist areas as part of Eleventh Night celebrations on Tuesday night. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 11-07-2017: Final preparations takes place for the Bonfire on Sandy Row in Belfast .The bonfires will be lit in loyalist areas as part of Eleventh Night celebrations on Tuesday night. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 11-07-2017: Final preparations take place for the Bonfire on Sandy Row in Belfast .The bonfires will be lit in loyalist areas as part of Eleventh Night celebrations on Tuesday night. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
SDLP MLA Daniel McCrossan posted this photo of one of his election posters on a bonfire and said he considers the action a hate crime.
Workmen board up windows of property beside a bonfire at the end of the Comber Greenway off Ravenscroft Avenue in east Belfast. [Photo: Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com]
Workmen board up windows of property beside a bonfire at the end of the Comber Greenway off Ravenscroft Avenue in east Belfast. [Photo: Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com]
Masked men continue to build a bonfire at Inverary Playing Fields in Belfast. Police in Northern Ireland have warned their resources could be stretched amid growing fears of tension around the burning of Eleventh night bonfires. [Photo credit: Liam McBurney/PA Wire]
Masked men continue to build a bonfire at Inverary Playing Fields in Belfast. [Photo: PA Wire 10/07/2017]
A bonfire constructed across the road from a petrol station in Carrickfergus was set alight in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

SDLP Group Leader on Belfast City Council Tim Attwood has welcomed the publication of a report from unionist parties on bonfires in the city.

He said that the report represents the beginning of a conversation on the future of bonfires but is far too light on serious concerns relating to the burning of flags, posters, images and effigies of nationalist politicians, and racist and sectarian slogans.

Cllr Attwood accepted that bonfires were an important part of unionist culture.

“I fully recognise the importance of bonfires to the wider unionist community as part their celebration of their culture and tradition. The SDLP has supported the bonfire diversionary programme in Belfast City Council and recognise that many unionist communities are on a journey in relation to bonfires and welcome the fact that more communities are using beacons," he said

“However, we all have to recognise that there are a number of bonfires which continue to put at risk people’s health, homes and property. Post Grenfell, this is unacceptable. There remain a number of bonfires which are used to burn flags, posters and for racist and sectarian slogans. This is not part of a cultural celebration and is absolutely unacceptable.”

“I welcome this paper’s acknowledgment that fly tipping and tyres on bonfires is a ‘scourge’ that must be tackled. The environmental damage that toxic smoke from tyre burning deals to local communities is something that must be addressed."

He called for greater leadership on the issue.

“There also needs to be greater leadership on this issue from statutory partners. The Council, NIHE, PSNI and NI Environment Agency have a collective responsibility to address bonfires which put at risk people’s health or property," Cllr Attwood said.

“The SDLP wish to engage in a discussion with the wider unionist community, which tackles the negative, dangerous and sinister aspects of bonfires while supporting developments which enhance unionist cultural celebrations.

“This paper should represent the beginning of a conversation on the future of bonfires. It will be supplemented by the report of the Commission on Flags, Identity, Culture and Tradition. But we cannot hide from the difficult issues if we’re to reach an acceptable accommodation."

Premature incineration: Sandy Row bonfire set alight early on Thursday June 25. Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Premature incineration: Sandy Row bonfire set alight early on Thursday June 25. Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
The bonfire at Sandy Row has been set alight early. Pic Twitter/StephenMcVey/BBC
The bonfire at Sandy Row has been set alight early. Pic Twitter/JulianO'Neill/BBC
Sandy Row Bonfire Firefighters extinguish the blaze at the Sandy Row Bonfire. The structure, in the car park of the Days Hotel on Wellwood Street, was lit on Thursday morning and has now been extinguished. Photo Aidan O'Reilly/Pacemaker Press
Belfast - Northern Ireland - Thursday 25th June 2015 - Sandy Row Bonfire Pictured is firefighters at the scene of the Sandyrow bonfire as it was set alight early on Thursday Morning Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Belfast - Northern Ireland - Thursday 25th June 2015 - Sandy Row Bonfire Pictured is firefighters at the scene of the Sandyrow bonfire as it was set alight early on Thursday Morning Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Sandy Row Bonfire Firefighters extinguish the blaze at the Sandy Row Bonfire. The structure, in the car park of the Days Hotel on Wellwood Street, was lit on Thursday morning and has now been extinguished. Photo Aidan O'Reilly/Pacemaker Press
Belfast - Northern Ireland - Thursday 25th June 2015 - Sandy Row Bonfire Pictured is firefighters at the scene of the Sandyrow bonfire as it was set alight early on Thursday Morning Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Belfast - Northern Ireland - Thursday 25th June 2015 - Sandy Row Bonfire Pictured is firefighters at the scene of the Sandyrow bonfire as it was set alight early on Thursday Morning Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Belfast - Northern Ireland - Thursday 25th June 2015 - Sandy Row Bonfire Pictured is firefighters at the scene of the Sandyrow bonfire as it was set alight early on Thursday Morning Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Belfast - Northern Ireland - Thursday 25th June 2015 - Sandy Row Bonfire Pictured is firefighters at the scene of the Sandyrow bonfire as it was set alight early on Thursday Morning Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Sandy Row Bonfire Firefighters extinguish the blaze at the Sandy Row Bonfire. The structure, in the car park of the Days Hotel on Wellwood Street, was lit on Thursday morning and has now been extinguished. Photo Aidan O'Reilly/Pacemaker Press
Sandy Row Bonfire Firefighters extinguish the blaze at the Sandy Row Bonfire. The structure, in the car park of the Days Hotel on Wellwood Street, was lit on Thursday morning and has now been extinguished. Photo Aidan O'Reilly/Pacemaker Press
Sandy Row Bonfire Firefighters extinguish the blaze at the Sandy Row Bonfire. The structure, in the car park of the Days Hotel on Wellwood Street, was lit on Thursday morning and has now been extinguished. Photo Aidan O'Reilly/Pacemaker Press
Sandy Row Bonfire Firefighters extinguish the blaze at the Sandy Row Bonfire. The structure, in the car park of the Days Hotel on Wellwood Street, was lit on Thursday morning and has now been extinguished. Photo Aidan O'Reilly/Pacemaker Press
Sandy Row Bonfire Firefighters extinguish the blaze at the Sandy Row Bonfire. The structure, in the car park of the Days Hotel on Wellwood Street, was lit on Thursday morning and has now been extinguished. Photo Aidan O'Reilly/Pacemaker Press
Sandy Row Bonfire Firefighters extinguish the blaze at the Sandy Row Bonfire. The structure, in the car park of the Days Hotel on Wellwood Street, was lit on Thursday morning and has now been extinguished. Photo Aidan O'Reilly/Pacemaker Press
Sandy Row Bonfire Firefighters extinguish the blaze at the Sandy Row Bonfire. The structure, in the car park of the Days Hotel on Wellwood Street, was lit on Thursday morning and has now been extinguished. Photo Aidan O'Reilly/Pacemaker Press
Sandy Row Bonfire Firefighters extinguish the blaze at the Sandy Row Bonfire. The structure, in the car park of the Days Hotel on Wellwood Street, was lit on Thursday morning and has now been extinguished. Photo Aidan O'Reilly/Pacemaker Press
Belfast - Northern Ireland - Thursday 25th June 2015 - Sandy Row Bonfire Pictured is firefighters at the scene of the Sandyrow bonfire as it was set alight early on Thursday Morning Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Belfast - Northern Ireland - Thursday 25th June 2015 - Sandy Row Bonfire Pictured is firefighters at the scene of the Sandyrow bonfire as it was set alight early on Thursday Morning Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Sandy Row Bonfire Firefighters extinguish the blaze at the Sandy Row Bonfire. The structure, in the car park of the Days Hotel on Wellwood Street, was lit on Thursday morning and has now been extinguished. Photo Aidan O'Reilly/Pacemaker Press
Belfast - Northern Ireland - Thursday 25th June 2015 - Sandy Row Bonfire Pictured is firefighters at the scene of the Sandyrow bonfire as it was set alight early on Thursday Morning Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Belfast - Northern Ireland - Thursday 25th June 2015 - Sandy Row Bonfire Pictured is firefighters at the scene of the Sandyrow bonfire as it was set alight early on Thursday Morning Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Belfast - Northern Ireland - Thursday 25th June 2015 - Sandy Row Bonfire Pictured is firefighters at the scene of the Sandyrow bonfire as it was set alight early on Thursday Morning Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Belfast - Northern Ireland - Thursday 25th June 2015 - Sandy Row Bonfire Pictured is firefighters at the scene of the Sandyrow bonfire as it was set alight early on Thursday Morning Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Belfast - Northern Ireland - Thursday 25th June 2015 - Sandy Row Bonfire Pictured is firefighters at the scene of the Sandyrow bonfire as it was set alight early on Thursday Morning Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Belfast - Northern Ireland - Thursday 25th June 2015 - Sandy Row Bonfire Pictured is firefighters at the scene of the Sandyrow bonfire as it was set alight early on Thursday Morning Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Belfast - Northern Ireland - Thursday 25th June 2015 - Sandy Row Bonfire Pictured is firefighters at the scene of the Sandyrow bonfire as it was set alight early on Thursday Morning Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Belfast - Northern Ireland - Thursday 25th June 2015 - Sandy Row Bonfire Pictured is firefighters at the scene of the Sandyrow bonfire as it was set alight early on Thursday Morning Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Belfast - Northern Ireland - Thursday 25th June 2015 - Sandy Row Bonfire Pictured is firefighters at the scene of the Sandyrow bonfire as it was set alight early on Thursday Morning Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Belfast - Northern Ireland - Thursday 25th June 2015 - Sandy Row Bonfire Pictured is firefighters at the scene of the Sandyrow bonfire as it was set alight early on Thursday Morning Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye

 

 

SDLP Councillor Tim Attwood
SDLP Councillor Tim Attwood

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