Young people, youth, community and political representatives have all been praised for working together to reach an agreed position which has resulted in over 200 tyres being removed from under a flyover in Derry.
Engagement between local young people, different community and youth groups, Council officers, elected representatives and others through the Bonfire Working Group has been ongoing and is expected to continue over the coming days.
The tyres were removed from a site previously used to store bonfire materials ahead of August 15th under the Lecky Road flyover earlier today (Friday).
In a statement released on social media, Long Tower Youth Club said: “Over the summer period young people have been engaging with the community in meaningful conversations around the removal of tyres from the bonfire site in the Bogside.
“Fair play to the young people for engaging positively with the youth and community workers on this issue, and today, as a result of this meaningful dialogue, our community has seen the removal of over 230 tyres from a bonfire site in the Bogside.
“The young people have worked with the community and have requested that the council assist them in the removal of the tyres with their full support and the support of the community. Well done to everyone involved in this process.”
The vice-chair of the Bonfire Working Group, Independent Derry & Strabane Councillor Paul Gallagher, said the good outcome and resolution reached showed the importance of respectful and positive dialogue.
“There has been a lot of stuff going on behind the scenes and we have reached a positive position now where the environmental impact has been minimised and young people, community workers and everyone is engaged.
“It’s very positive and I hope it follows through right to the very end of this process,” he said.
Colr. Gallagher said the positive engagement work on the ground locally showed how good outcomes could come about when people concentrated on reaching agreed solutions rather than on negativity.