Some move on, some stay behind…

THE Irish News reports that the Orange Order resolution calling for members to take on “a role of civic and community leadership within these islands” has been described by SDLP North Antrim assembly member Declan O’Loan as on the whole “very encouraging”. The report adds that Mr O’ Loan said that the positive wording of the resolution should be considered alongside unprecedented moves by the Order to open up conversations with the Parades Commission, the Catholic Church, the SDLP and some local residents. It also fits in with moves in many communities to rethink the bonfire culture and the flying of flags. “This is all very healthy. There is a profound link between the shifting of positions on these matters and the success of the Assembly. Success in these two arenas will be mutually reinforcing,” said Mr O’ Loan. Sadly, all this peace, love and understanding seems to have escaped some loyalists in Ballycraigy, Antrim and Milltown estate, Shawsbridge. Just what are they compensating for with their phallic-shaped bonfires, intimidation, lawlessness and refusal to let their neighbours live in peace?

  • As this is my last post before the Glorious Day, I’d like to wish all Sluggerites a very Happy Twelfth. Hope you all have a great day and go easy on the burgers.

    £5 on King Billy to win the Sham Fight at Scarva.

  • reds under the beds

    Big Bulldozer is required for all of those sites burning tyres illegally. Where are our councils when we need them. Some reports states that there are 10,000 tyres waiting to be burnt in Ballycraigy alone – never mind the environment, as long as the fenians are intimidated by the big fire, seems to still be the message.

  • Ziznivy

    “£5 on King Billy to win the Sham Fight at Scarva.”

    Same fecking joke every single year. >:-(

  • Yokel

    Have to say that up my old haunt in West Belfast it is very quiet indeed when I’ve been up over the past week or two.

    I actually havent seen a bonfire site. In days of old there used to be 4 or 5 within 5 minutes walking distance. I am aware that ‘community representatives’ have been moving over the last few years in that area to organised piss ups..I mean celebrations on the 11th.

  • darth rumsfeld

    Why not recycle all those redundant DUP manifestos from the last few elections by burning them? I’m sure there’s a few thousand posters of Plug, Punt and the boys that are mouldering away and in need of a match too. And as part of the new inclusive orangefest an effigy of ould president Couscescu himself on the boney at Sandy Row could be enjoyed by all the community

    I’ll get me sash

  • Pounder

    Irony always bites me in the ass this time of year. Every day my bus passes Pitt Park and we see a huge pile of bonfire wood and a sign on the fence saying “No Dumping”. I for one will not be attending any bonfires, though I may go to see the parade down Bedford Street.

  • darth rumsfeld

    BTW an insider tells me that as part of the new dispensation OFMDFM has been in contact with the Black to see if we can’t have a new inclusive Sham Fight- perhaps with King Billy as the First winner and King James as the Deputy First Winner, so perhaps a fiver on Seamus a Shaca at 1000-1 would be a good flutter watchman

  • jp

    “Big Bulldozer is required for all of those sites burning tyres illegally. Where are our councils when we need them” – some people say that they should have taken a similar line with the derry barricades, still as long as we can point the finger who cares ?

    Perhaps the hostility to the council stems from a lack of meaningful and supportive dialogue and pithy little ‘yeah but’ pieces like this that accompany every positive development.

    and a quote from those intimidated residents :

    “Nobody has anything against the bonfire”

  • Tochais Síoraí

    Seamus a chaca, Darth.

    Ná déan dearmad do shais.

  • Pounder

    Wonder what the Green Party’s line is on 11th night bonfires.

  • overhere

    Poor old JP nothing if not predictable

  • reds under the beds

    JP, I am not really sure which Derry barricades you are referring to?

  • harry

    ‘Irony always bites me in the ass this time of year. Every day my bus passes Pitt Park and we see a huge pile of bonfire wood and a sign on the fence saying “No Dumping”.

    Some are more concerned with the armed terrorists firing automatic rifles at Pitt Park bonfires, as was the case at the council funded event last year.

  • Bonny Fire

    I have to admire the bonfire at shaws bridge as a construction.
    I am slightly worried where the logs at the bottom came from, is there some de-forestation we should know about, or is the eatate called after the Beaver?

  • Martin

    Just one question, Gonzo – ‘phallic’ shaped??? Was that you on Embarrassing Illnesses a couple of weeks ago?

    For a different kind of muted chuckle, check out the Ballycraigy strand of the Arts Council’s Re-imagining Communities project, launched today:

    ‘£9,910 – Inter Estate Partnership – Re-imaging of Ballycraigy Housing Estate –Artist led workshops will facilitate the removal of paramilitary imagery from the estate and, following the community workshops, create two sculptures to enhance the landscape of this community.’

    So maybe all these bonfires are art?

  • Pounder

    Agreed harry, OTOH unless they hit a low flying airplan coming into land at the City Airport a firing party does less damage to the environment than huge bonfire.

  • Sean

    I have just seen the pictures of the Ballycraigy bonfire pyre, that thin is a disaster waiting to happen and the army should be put to good use for once and move into dismantle it

  • darth rumsfeld

    “Just one question, Gonzo – ‘phallic’ shaped??? Was that you on Embarrassing Illnesses a couple of weeks ago?”

    Presumably that’s where the Americans coined the expression “to get wood”?

  • Sean

    Pounder
    those bullets have to come down somewhere

  • Jp

    the aftermath of the civil unrest in the bogside reds.

    and if calls for inclusivity and constructive comunication are predictable, it is because they are never heeded, and need to be repeated.

  • Cruimh

    “phallic-shaped bonfires,”

    The mind boggles as to the gonzoid wedding tackle.

  • Gréagóir O’ Franclín

    ”So maybe all these bonfires are art?”

    Charles Saatchi might be willing to add a few to his illustrious contemporary art collection!

  • Cruimh

    “£5 on King Billy to win the Sham Fight at Scarva. ”

    What odds and do you accept place bets ?

  • DK

    When are the bonfires lit? Is it midnight or earlier

  • slug

    Have to agree with Sean, that Ballycraigey bonfire with all the tyres MUST NOT be allowed to go ahead, because of environmental reasons.

    The authorities MUST stop this from happening.

    Its against the law and for very good reasons of pollution-globally and locally.

  • Cahal

    Slug, everything you just said is of course true…..in real countries, not banana republics.

    The fact that this enviromental disaster will go ahead, without any attmept to halt it by the authorities, says a lot about the north in 2007.

    Who’s holding us back?

  • willis

    Could you sue your local council for failing to provide clean air?

  • terracetoff

    Re the Ballycraigy bonfire I heard last year that the number of tyres was linked to a nice little earner being operated by some enterprising person associated with the bonfire. It seems he was being paid to take away old tyres in the Republic and disposing of same on the Ballycraigy bonfire. The sums involved may be substantial.

  • Sean

    terra
    LOL them damn taigs making money off a good old fashioned orange environmental dissaster

  • Dawkins

    It will always be difficult to enforce laws when they conflict with the leisure activities of a great many people. I can’t see tyre burning being prosecuted anytime soon. The will of majority must be behind any such moves, and that ain’t going to be the case for a while yet. Similarly, public drunkenness is punishable by a fine or imprisonment or both, yet only yesterday we heard that the PSNI may decide to confiscate alcohol found at march venues. No mention of fines there I notice.

    On a related issue, I was gratified to see considerably fewer flags than in previous years. Perhaps this place is growing up after all.

  • slug

    Dawkins

    I can’t agree. Its an offence to burn tyres and this is a very flagrant breach (pun intended).

  • Dawkins

    Slug,

    What can’t you agree with? Of course tyre burning is an offence. Of course swigging alcohol in public is an offence. But neither is likely to be prosecuted.

    Not unless both involve an old homeless chap warming himself of a bitter winter’s night while banishing his inner demons with a dram of whisky.

  • patrique

    As someone who lives nearby to Ballycraigy, I can inform one and all that it is not the “Fenians” who are suffering because of this bonfire. I note a poster stating that the residents did not object.Perhaps they are masochists, afraid, or misquoted. The residents are furious, and demand action from the council, who actually are powerless to do anything, unless they have bullet proof bull dozers.

    The ones suffering are those in the lovely row of pensioners bungalows at the front of the estate, around the corner from the inferno, and the pensioners facing it. Not to mention all the residents of the lower end of the estate, where PVC windows were known to melt last year.
    The entyre (pun intended) population of Antrim will suffer in the end, given the unknown emissions into the atmosphere, but for now our thoughts should be with the oppressed people of Ballycraigy.

  • Ravenhill Residnet

    Hundreds of tyres are being added to the bonfire on the Ormeau embankment as we speak. Last week the residents of Ballarat Street were organising a cleanup of the area, how the hell did they miss the tyres!

  • Nice photo on the BBC’s site of a bonfire, complete with tricolours and KAT slogans.

  • slug

    “I can’t see tyre burning being prosecuted anytime soon. The will of majority must be behind any such moves, and that ain’t going to be the case for a while yet.”

    This is what I can’t agree with. The law must be enforced.

    Campaign on this! Draw attention! Its getting media attention now – surely the police cannot ignore it?

  • patrique

    Nice photo on the BBC’s site of a bonfire, complete with tricolours and KAT slogans.
    Posted by Sean Graham’s Bookies

    Thankfully there are only a few left.

  • Comrade Stalin

    On the two bonfires I’ve passed near the city centre on my way to work (Donegall Road and Linfield Road off Sandy Row) I’ve noticed that neither have tricolours on the top or effigies of the pope. Sounds like we’re taking ever-so-small baby steps to get this event cleaned up.

    To me the 11th night (and indeed the 12th holiday) has little to do with tradition and a lot more to do with sectarian jingoism and thuggery, criminally allowed to masquerade as a precious expression of culture while the authorities turn a blind eye. That said, I cannot reasonably object to people having safe and well-run bonfires; however, this business of burning illegal material such as tyres, blocking public highways and scorch-damaging public property is going to have to stop. I don’t mind so much the bonfires on waste ground away from houses. But some of these things are being set up on football pitches which are left unusable after the night is over. The law abiding ratepayers and taxpayers among us have to pay to get this vandalism cleaned up.

    Sadly, I think there are two ways this is going to come to a head. Either our local authorities are going to be prosecuted for failing to enforce regulations against the burning of this material – and then they’ll be forced to stop bonfires; or, some adult – or worse a small child – is going to get killed either by a collapsing bonfire or by getting burnt, and the resulting panic will lead to a backlash against them. It’s sad that none of our politicians have the balls to stand up to their community and say, look, this shit is wrong, normal civilized people don’t do it.

  • slug

    < >

    Grrr. That’s not good enough councillor.

  • Travis

    To me the 11th night (and indeed the 12th holiday) has little to do with tradition and a lot more to do with sectarian jingoism and thuggery, criminally allowed to masquerade as a precious expression of culture while the authorities turn a blind eye. That said, I cannot reasonably object to people having safe and well-run bonfires; however, this business of burning illegal material such as tyres, blocking public highways and scorch-damaging public property is going to have to stop. I don’t mind so much the bonfires on waste ground away from houses. But some of these things are being set up on football pitches which are left unusable after the night is over. The law abiding ratepayers and taxpayers among us have to pay to get this vandalism cleaned up.

    Sadly, I think there are two ways this is going to come to a head. Either our local authorities are going to be prosecuted for failing to enforce regulations against the burning of this material – and then they’ll be forced to stop bonfires; or, some adult – or worse a small child – is going to get killed either by a collapsing bonfire or by getting burnt, and the resulting panic will lead to a backlash against them. It’s sad that none of our politicians have the balls to stand up to their community and say, look, this shit is wrong, normal civilized people don’t do it.
    Posted by Comrade Stalin on Jul 10, 2007 @ 10:44 PM

    Very good observations, Comrade Stalin. Cheers.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Slug:

    Grrr. That’s not good enough councillor.

    That’s a councillor running away because he’s afraid of the people he represents. But soon push is going to shove for these people. Northern Ireland has already faced legal action under European law for failing to get sewage and recycling sorted out. Sooner or later, the same legislation is going to be used to force local authorities to stop bonfires, and pathetic little councillors like this one will find themselves painted out of the loop.

  • patrique

    Eloquently put indeed, Joe. Unfortunately Antrim appears to be one of the few places left where outright sectarianism is still used by politicians to get votes. The council chamber regularly features sectarian outbursts, not to mention attacks on migrant workers and travellers.

    In the assembly election Willie McCrea was the moderate face of the DUP. I kid you not.

    By the way, Willie is an excellent MP if you want something done.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Eloquently put indeed, Joe. Unfortunately Antrim appears to be one of the few places left where outright sectarianism is still used by politicians to get votes. The council chamber regularly features sectarian outbursts, not to mention attacks on migrant workers and travellers.

    I appreciate your point but I’ll wager there isn’t a single unionist councillor anywhere in NI who has the guts to stand up and say that the illegal burning of tyres must stop, never mind illegal dumping, lighting of fires, drinking etc. Unionists seem to be generally incapable of leadership. At least the chuckies weaned their supporters off rioting and bonfires on the Internment Day celebrations and replaced it with something that has a broader appeal. Unionists couldn’t even be arsed trying.

    I don’t know if it’s just me but the thing seems to have gotten worse over the past 15 years. I don’t remember previously the bonfires being so huge, or being used as an excuse to dump combustible waste and tyres. Look at the mess there is at the junction of the Fortwilliam M2 onslip and Mount Vernon. I don’t remember that years ago. Maybe I’ve got blinkers on.

    By the way, Willie is an excellent MP if you want something done.

    I’ve had lots of good experiences in this respect concerning DUP public representatives, and have heard many similar stories from different sources, so I’ve no doubt you’re right. The thing I worry about is that getting into “at least he made the buses run on time” thing. Our desire for quality public representatives seems to excuse their other, somewhat more repugnant, qualities.

  • patrique

    By the way, the town itself has grown up. Until the mini-12th, I had forgotten all about the actual 12th, due to the lack of flags in the town, and doubtless the weather. So someone, somewhere, has done some good in reigning in the triumphalism.

    Unfortunately, it is starting to emerge among the other side.

  • darth rumsfeld

    my home town for the first time in about a decade has not a single paramiltary flag out- yes, there are many orange standards, plus we have the flags of the countries with an orange presence- hats off the the man who sourced the Togo flag in Main Street.
    No independent bonfire anywhere in town, after years of hard work from the Orange to get the one problem one stopped.
    The sun was reported to be out at 06.15 this morning for five minutes

    Things aren’t as bad as they’re painted

  • Comrade Stalin

    On the two bonfires I’ve passed near the city centre on my way to work (Donegall Road and Linfield Road off Sandy Row) I’ve noticed that neither have tricolours on the top or effigies of the pope. Sounds like we’re taking ever-so-small baby steps to get this event cleaned up.

    OK, I withdraw my remark earlier. The Linfield Road bonfire now has a tricolour on top, and is blocking the road forcing vehicles using the Linfield Industrial Estate to mount the footpath. It has not moved on since last year.

    Darth:

    Things aren’t as bad as they’re painted

    The tyres, illegal rubble, environmental damage and road surface damage certainly are. The cleanup bill is no joke. I’m not against bonfires; I’m against people wanton breaking the law and vandalizing property.

  • derrylin

    ‘my home town for the first time in about a decade has not a single paramiltary flag out’

    Does this mean the order have set up more paramilitary lodges to accomodate the growing ranks of terorists within the orders?

  • snakebrain

    Whoever said they admired the Shaw’s Bridge bonfire should try driving along milltown rd now – the surface of the road has been destroyed and is going to need to be totally resurfaced.

    Who’s going to pay?