Bonfire makers accessing materials from businesses - Duffy

Sinn Fein councillor Sandra Duffy.
Sinn Fein councillor Sandra Duffy.

Sinn Féin Councillor Sandra Duffy has appealed to local businesses not to allow wooden pallets, tyres and building materials to be used for bonfires.

Her call comes following reports of young people across Derry and Strabane accessing business premises to acquire pallets and other material for bonfires.

Councillor Duffy said: “I have received a number of reports in recent days about some businesses apparently allowing young people take wooden pallets and other materials from their places of business and I would like to point out to businesses that if you permit these items to be removed from your premises you could face prosecution by Derry City Council.

“Over recent years community organisations, statutory bodies and political activists from across the City have invested time, energy and finances to create imaginative and fun alternatives to bonfires.

“The gathering of these materials and their storage in public spaces only creates an eyesore prior to the bonfire and unnecessary clean-up expense to ratepayers in the aftermath aside from being a health and safety risk.”

Colr. Duffy said threat to the health and well-being of the elderly and those with respiratory problems living in close proximity to these bonfires is well documented.

“It is frustrating therefore to receive reports that some businesses either deliberately or through failure to secure storage areas are facilitating those young people yet to be convinced of healthier, more environmentally and community friendly alternatives to continue this outdated practice,” she said, adding: “I strongly appeal to businesses to cooperate in making August festivities a fun, non-political, community oriented series of activities by supporting the events planned in your area and ensuring that material that could be used for bonfires is properly secured.”