Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland council to introduce application process for bonfires

A Northern Ireland council is set to introduce an application process for anyone who wants to hold a bonfire on its land.

The Irish News reports that anyone wishing to hold a bonfire on council land in the Mid-Ulster District Council area will have to undergo an application process under new plans to regulate the pyres.

The plans are expected to be ratified at a full-meeting of the council on Thursday night.

Mid-Ulster council is dominated by Sinn Fein which has 18 councillors and is expected to back the plan.

The proposal comes as it was revealed a Northern Ireland-wide plan on dealing with flags, identity, culture and tradition was leaked by loyalist blogger Jamie Bryson.

As part of the Mid Ulster council plans anyone wishing to hold a bonfire in the area would have to prove the event can be run safely and no toxic materials or political emblems will be burned.

A council spokesperson said permission would given for the bonfire if they were satisfied all conditions would be met.

"The council’s environment committee has recommended that, as part of a series of actions to address the risk associated with bonfires, a Bonfire Management Programme be introduced," the spokesperson said.

"The proposals would mean that a bonfire will only be considered on council land where the organiser can demonstrate the event and site will be managed safely and where certain conditions are met (e.g. no hazardous or toxic materials are collected, stored or burned; no flags, emblems or effigies are burned).

"Organisers would, therefore, apply for permission to stage a bonfire on council property. The detail of the application process will be considered once the council has agreed to implement the Committee’s recommendations."

Last year Mid-Ulster MP Francie Molloy spoke out after an Eleventh Night bonfire in Dungannon damaged four houses.

The bonfire at Killymerron Park melted windows and broke glass at a number of properties in the area.

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service attended and extinguished the blaze.

Speaking at the time Mr Molloy condemned what he called "a complete failure of leadership".

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