Sinn Féin Councillor Brenda Chivers has echoed her party colleague, Paul Maskey MP, call for the Environment Minister to get tough on bonfires.
Colr. Chivers said: “Over the weekend we saw disgraceful scenes of effigies, election posters, including my own, with one in particular travelling as far as Belfast, flags and sporting emblems burnt on loyalist bonfires across the North.
“As well as these blatant sectarian hate crimes, bonfires are also extremely harmful to the environment with some burning tyres, releasing harmful fumes into the air.
“They also cause damage to green spaces in communities and local authorities are left with huge clean-up bills.
“Environment Minister Mark H Durkan needs to take action to ensure that all existing legislation covering bonfires is being implemented and, if necessary, bring forward new regulations.
“Anyone organising a bonfire should have to apply for a licence, ensuring they comply with all environmental and health and safety regulations, and should be held responsible for any breaches.”