Dumping of pallets in green spaces prompts bonfire material warning

Bonfire warning.
Bonfire warning.

The dumping of wooden pallets across Derry in advance of anticipated August 15 bonfires in some areas has sparked a call for businesses to make sure their premises are secured.

Sinn Féin Councillor Mickey Cooper said efforts were being made to remove a pile of wooden pallets that have been left on green spaces along the Northland Road and Glen Road areas.

He said: “I have had a number of complaints about the existence of these pallets on green spaces along the Northland and Glen Road areas. It looks like they were in the process of being moved to another part of the city and then abandoned.

“Following these complaints, I have been working with the Community Safety wardens and the Council to see if we can get them removed as quickly as possible."

It's suspected the wood was being transferred for use as material in the decreasing number of bonfires that are now lit in nationalist areas of the city on August 15.

Fires were originally lit in August in Ireland to mark Lúnasa, the traditional harvest celebration.

However, this was subsequently aligned with the Catholic Feast of the Assumption and within the last half century bonfires have also become associated with the nationalist revolt against internment in 1971.

In recent years efforts have been made to replace bonfires with community festivals due to concerns over anti-social and environmentally damaging behaviour.

Colr. Cooper encourage anyone storing pallets or other materials to shore up their yards.

“I am also putting a call out to businesses, especially those in local Industrial estates to increase security or store pallets more securely. Groups of young people are regularly seen in the area on the lookout for pallets.

“It also important that housing associations warn their contractors to carry out similar security checks on local building sites.

“If we all work collectively together on this issue, I believe it can only have a positive outcome in lessening the impact in the use of stolen pallets.

“If any resident needs any further assistance they should not hesitate to contact me."