SDLP Group Leader on Belfast City Council Donal Lyons has welcomed a decision by the Strategic Policy and Resources Committee to act on hazardous bonfires.
Cllr Lyons said: “As elected representatives, our first responsibility is to the safety of people and the security of property in our community. It is with that duty in mind that the SDLP has supported action on bonfires which contain hazardous materials and pose a threat to public health in Belfast.
“I understand the significance of eleventh night bonfires for many in our community and I am in no way trying to diminish that aspect of anyone’s cultural celebration. But there is a responsibility on the organisers to ensure that bonfires are safe and pose no hazard. Many take that obligation seriously but in some cases that has not happened, in spite of engagement with organisers, and it is therefore our responsibility to intervene.
“The removal of up to 1,800 tyres from a bonfire site at the weekend also raises serious questions about the supply of hazardous materials. The scale of the removal suggests a significant and organised supply of tyres. The disposal of these materials is regulated by law and prohibits illegal handling. It’s important that the relevant authorities investigate this matter fully."