No water – just the cost of (bon)fires

Slugger can’t handle much more water. So I will start what will be a series of blogs attempting to discover an absolute figure for public expenditure on 11th July bonfires.

First up is costs to the Fire Service.

Reports for the last five reporting years show callouts on the 11th night alone have consistently fallen across all areas.

However, the total number of calls to what the NIFRS classify as a ‘bonfire incident’ between May and July reached its highest level in 2009 (288).

The expenditure then was £894,076 and this represents a 32% increase in costs related to 11th bonfires for the Fire Service in 5 years.

Those years (2005 – 2009) saw total expenditure of £3,719,940 from this public body alone in dealing with incidents around 11th bonfires

Much more on this coming in future days/weeks.

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  • Drumlins Rock

    grow up Mark and quit your stirring.

  • Mark McGregor

    DR,

    Nearly £4m in 5 years and increasing expenditure is stirring?

    I think you’ll find it is recording fact.

    The subsequent blogs are really gong to irritate you as the total cost (close as possible) is given for these fires.

  • McCarthy Óg

    There were republican bonfires too the month after which must have incurred a cost. Full of scumbags and the whole thing seemed to have little to do with republicanism, and more about teenage pregnancy, but I failed to see the point in the police chopper flying overhead. What did an aerial view of the bonfire actually achieve apart from waste money? Also, do they bother with helicopters for the standard loyalist bonfires?

  • Drumlins Rock

    If you want to play your wee game, have a look at the hoax callouts, http://www.nifrs.org/statistics.php?sec=13638 roughly 30 times the Bonfire callouts your worked up about, and if your going to play your sectarian game why look! I would say a disproportionate amount of Hoax calls come from Republican areas.
    Quit trying to hide your biggoty in some sort of “cost saving” excuses, as you said there is
    “Much more on this coming in future days/weeks.”

  • Mark McGregor

    McC

    I’ll have the breakdown in a future blog but ‘republican’ bonfires represent 5% compared to the 67% on the 11th. The rest happen at halloween,

    I’ve got so many stats on this 🙂

  • Mark McGregor

    ‘Whatabout’

    You are going to be doing a lot of that in the next few weeks if you don’t actually address the substance presented (or can’t address it).

  • Drumlins Rock

    Mark, unless you have a strong personal reason against bonfires your only real interest in this subject is to get a dig at “the other side” its just a petty sectarian grudge, and in that case “whatabouthery is fair game!

  • William Markfelt

    ‘Slugger can’t handle much more water. ‘

    Yes it can.

    But we should play with the fire motif.

    The McKenzie family crest is a mountain in flames.

  • Mark McGregor

    So noting the real financial costs of 11th bonfires is ‘sectarian’ and results in ‘fair game’?

    I think you may need to re-examine the Slugger rules.

    I’ve presented fact., ‘fair game’ doesn’t come into it.

    What you’ve demonstrated is an inability to address the facts/blog presented. You’ve then fallen back on a purely sectarian argument and personal attack to cover the fact you cannot actually address the figures presented.

  • McCarthy Óg

    DR, what if it’s the bonfires on both sides which are being attacked from a cost point of view? You can hardly call that sectarian.

  • Chris Donnelly

    Mark
    Ignore Drumlin’s mock outrage. This is worth examining.

  • Drumlins Rock

    Mc, Mark singled out the 11th night bonfires alone. read his post and FoI request, so I think I can call that sectarian.

  • Drumlins Rock

    very selective “facts” bit like Connors 28 million.

  • wj

    Mark, you might also take into account the various “community festivals” which take place on the day/evening/night of all these bonfires and which are, in most cases, funded by local councils. I know of several in my neck of the woods and which are supposed to have a condition attached of no collecting of bonfire materials until 4 weeks before the 11th. Mind you, it doesn’t seem to stop material being collected from shortly after Easter each year. And the funding is still paid out.

  • joeCanuck

    This is a trolling thread.; just ignore it.
    Mark, you raise a lot of interesting questions at times. This thread is just silly. How much does it cost to police marches and the frequent justified protests against coat trailing?

  • aquifer

    We can probably afford bonfires street music and barbeques once a year. Why should we pay for advanced social and peacekeeping services for sectarian separatists and their dreary attempts at armed blackmail, community provocation, the promotion of residential laagers, and economic vandalism?

    They would not stand for it in Dublin 4.

  • Jay

    Its a legitimate story dont let the fake outrage put you off.

  • lamhdearg

    How much money do we pay into “the arts” as i never go to plays,(new lyirc theatre 18m) i also have not been to a bonfire in years but don’t think we should only point them out as a waste of money, lots of people enjoy bonfire night here in ulster, and lots of those people will never grace the lyric, so is its not only fair?.

  • Ulick

    You might think it silly from your base in Canada Joe, but then again you aren’t the one paying for these things.

  • Ulick

    “so is its not only fair?”

    Well “the arts” generally make a positive contribution to cultures and society which cannot be said of bonfires that ritually burn and destroy cultural symbols.

  • Neil

    Grow up DR and face a fact for once.

  • I think a lot of people are missing the point. Most of the spend that Mark is highlighting is avoidable by proper organisation (what on earth is objectionable about that). Unless it is the inalienable God- and Carson- given right of the Ulsterman to light a bonfire in any random area regardless of the consequences?

  • Neil

    How much money do we pay into “the arts” as i never go to plays,(new lyirc theatre 18m) i also have not been to a bonfire in years but don’t think we should only point them out as a waste of money, lots of people enjoy bonfire night here in ulster, and lots of those people will never grace the lyric, so is its not only fair?.

    Well you’d have a good point there if it weren’t for a few simple facts. One being quite a few people from both traditions don’t go to plays, while everyone of one tradition doesn’t go to bonfires. And the associated parades of course. Same deal there. In effect Northern Irish Nationalists are forced to pay some minute figure into their taxes to pay for parading and bonfires that they are not welcome at and will never attend.

    Then, really, the biggest victim is the British taxpayer at large. In a country with 30 million taxpayers approximately, 29 million of them get to cough up for the enjoyment of 1 million. And by enjoyment I of course mean singing party tunes, beating a big drum, and doing untold environmental damage each and every year.

    Cost is very much a factor, if it weren’t then people like yourself would have no problem applying the same argument you’ve used to justify spending on bonfires above to say Irish language education. Hey, most of those working class Nationalists never go to plays, so let them have their wee schools. But it doesn’t play out like that as well you know.

    It would be interesting to see how crucial parading and burning effigies, flags and rubbish is to Loyalist culture, were they actually forced to cough up some of the repair bill, security costs, medical costs, fire service call outs and lost revenues across Northern Ireland.

    But then that wouldn’t be fair, as we know Loyalism in NI, well, God’s chosen people. The 29 million taxpayers who sort the party out should be damned glad to do so, to be honoured with the privilege of paying for a bunch of track suit bedecked, tattooed, beer swilling, anti social louts to get out and burn a chunk of land, and the odd house or person.

    PS – Any chance of a thread to discuss the delectable, miss 600 votes, ex TUVite Ann Cooper, Northern Ireland’s very own Enoch’s recent coments congratulating the sacked customs officials for breaking the law.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Mark loves to stir up shit but there is absolutely nothing unreasonable about his observations.

    Bonfires are organized and widely tolerated lawbreaking. It is illegal to :

    * dump rubbish at the side of the road
    * burn wood, rubbish, tyres, old electrical gear etc
    * put objects on the road which could be a danger to traffic
    * damage road surfaces
    * consume alcohol in a public place.
    * light fires near people’s property, in some cases causing severe damage (thinking about the couple who lost their home this year)
    * burning flags and effigies of the pope probably break the incitement to hatred act.

    There are other things that are distasteful about it as well. Setting aside the paramilitary angle, I see kids playing in the wood and rubbish that are dumped by people. There are young kids out late at night at the bonfire celebrations who have the fun of witnessing adults getting pissed, high, etc. It feels to me like people shitting in their own nest.

    The other vibe that I sometimes get from the whole thing is that such brazen disrespect for the authorities and the law is symptomatic of people who feel that they own the country and don’t have any obligations to follow the rules and regulations therein. A bonfire gets set up annually near my workplace and, around 12 on the day, one of the local thugs comes in to tell everyone that they need to get out otherwise the road will be blocked by the bonfire. In other words, local businesses are ordered to stop by people who have no authority to do so, so that they can erect an illegal structure.

    I find the fact that unionists bang on all day about supporting the police and upholding the rule of law fucking hilarious given their open support for the above bullshit. It may well be a long-standing tradition, but the plain and simple fact is that it is, by and large, an anti-social and uncivilized activity and it really should stop.

    As for the “republican” scumbags who like to have their own bonfires, I can absolutely guarantee you that most of the people who are unfortunate enough to live in the vicinity of one would be quite happy to see the authorities dismantle said structures and take stiff enforcement action against them. The authorities cannot do this because they would be setting a precedent for loyalist bonfires which would immediately lead to problems. Like everything else, these problems can only be solved by political leadership, and in this instance the only people who can provide that are the unionists.

  • deeje

    lamhdearg may have a point here, bonfires may represent value for money in terms of amount of people that attend them. Any festivities this large will have policing/organising costs attached. And given this country’s history 4m over 5years to appease firebugs could be a drop in the ocean.

    Of course this point ignores the many other small annoyances attached to them, but case in point (I assume) is value for money, if such a thing exists In this context.

  • percy

    I’ll play
    Drumlins, what is the reason Orange Marchers won’t transform into a more carnival mode.:

    a) we don’t do humour

    b) its about getting one over on the taigs?

  • Alan Maskey

    Comrade Stalin raisess some good points. They are probably also a hygiene threat; the rats must have a field day when festitivies are over and hamburgers and beer leftovers have to be gobbled up.

    I think it is important to understand republican bonfires too and why they existed. Though internment bonfires were instiututed by PIRA types for several reasons, one of the main ones was to supplant the AOH 15th August gigs in memory of The Feast of the Assumption of our Blessed Mother, Mary, Queen of the Gael, into heaven. Together with Loyalist modeled Republican fife and drum bands, the West Belfast festival and a lot more, it played an important part in allowing PIRA colonise working class Catholic areas
    Fires also have a pagan resonance. People, not just PIRA pyromaniacs, like them. They have been symbolic long before Judas grassed out Jesus.
    These things obviously mean a lot more to our Protestant, Loyalist friends than to the rest of us. But I ask you, dear friends, is English football now better that they have got rid of the fire and death traps that were the footbal stadiums of old? It is time to move on.

    Even the English are beginning to do this. Every year, these savages commemmorate the murder of Guy Fawkes and other progressives who tried to take over out the Hitlers of their day. In some of the nicer places in England, where the washed live, these things are controlled. There is a controlled fireworks display, people are well behaved and all then go home.

    The unwashed, meanwhile, leave their rockets and god knows what else off wherever they like for about a month prior to and after Guy Fawkes (all time hero) day. It is like the battle of the Somme every day. One general problem is the unwashed are allowed colonise public spaces and make threatening spectacles of themselves; the Loyalist bonfires fall into that category and Comrade Stalin has already alluded to such incidents in his work locale.

    Then the Sikhs have to be in on the act as well. More fireworks for their holy day. And many others too no doubt. Noise pollution seems acceptable.

    Irish nationalists are moving on. (Neil, please don’t use phrases like Northern Irish nationalists as it defies logic; you mean Irish Nationalists living in the six occupied counties). Time for Loyalists to do the same.

    Mark: any figures on rat plagues and the marching season, I bet they had a bumper season this year. Plenty of sex and little baby rats, all due to our Orange friends.

    And yes, Catholics should clean up after them (and hide their tattooed beer bllies under their Spedos) when they go to the beach etc.

  • Bemused Southerner

    Well, bonfires with ritual burning and destruction of cultural symbols, probably constitutes ‘performance art’ 😉

  • drumlins rock

    Just for the record, I am no big fan of bonfires, I have attended one every year for the past 5 or 6 yrs because my sister live right beside it and I help her keep an eye on things, lets say the PVC windows get quite warm when it is at its peak, no harm has been done to date, just have to keep an eye on thing, the black soot everywhere is disgusting though.
    Cant remember seeing the Fire Brigade there recently, but in the past they generally turned up but did not have to take any action, it was precautionary, and appeared to be a good chance to do some community relations with the local young people.
    I would agree better organisation is needed for many bonfire sites and others should be scaled back or ended, but stunts like Marks here are the best way to ensure that does not happen.
    I would say 90% of bonfire building is carried out by under 18 yr olds, and rarely if ever is there an “official organiser” sometimes adults can have some influence if they provide an alternative distraction, this is where the funding goes ie. “look guys if you keep the tyres of of the bonny this yr we will get a DJ to put on a bit of a show for you”.
    This method is bearing some fruits, and as Mark acknowledges the incidents requiring the Fire Brigade are falling, however the non stop whinge from Nationalists over these schemes and their funding is undermining the efforts and making it much harder to make the changes needed.
    Maybe because I dont usually make a big deal about Bonfires my “mock outrage” is uncalled for, but it is so blatantly obvious that Mark does not give a toss about the Fire Service Budget, or the “roads service repair costs” (probably the next big exclusive he will wet himself with glee to report to us), but in reality it is just a thinly disguised petty minded biggoted attempt at Prod bashing by someone who nostagically looks back on days when his “comrades” really give the Fire Service something to deal with.

  • percy

    Mark does need to up his game, when a gem is found, it needs elevating, not leaving in the gutter.
    Drum, dya agree that Chris Connelly’s thread on wee Jeffrey’s silly wriggling was nearer the mark?

    Jeff “more wriggly” than a spearmint gum.. ola

  • Neil

    but it is so blatantly obvious that Mark does not give a toss about the Fire Service Budget, or the “roads service repair costs” (probably the next big exclusive he will wet himself with glee to report to us), but in reality it is just a thinly disguised petty minded biggoted attempt at Prod bashing

    Sounds like you have a fear of people finding out the actual bottom line cost for parading in NI, and well you should. These discussions in Scotland have led to the suggestion that the OO will have to pay something for the right to disrupt everyone’s lives.

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/orange-order-to-be-billed-for-policing-scottish-parades-14475200.html

    Considering the policing for three parades in Scotland where likely there is less poolicing required came to 1 million I can only imagine what the associated costs of the parading season here might be over the 2,000 Orange approx parades.

    It’s not ‘biggoted’ (sic) to point out facts to people. Facts are just facts. And it’s highly amusing to see the hypocrisy coming from your good self in that a) you are entitled to make your feelings known about, say, Irish language education while any Nationalist who makes their opinion known regarding your community is an instant bigot and b) how pointing out the financing of these parades and the facts surrounding how they are financed and how much they cost is simply ‘biggoted’ (sic).

    I would say 90% of bonfire building is carried out by under 18 yr olds, and rarely if ever is there an “official organiser”

    The old chestnut eh? Ah well, that parade has nothing to do with us we didn’t organise it, or the 11th night has nothing to do with the 12th July we didn’t organise it, yeah they carry a Brian Robinson banner but but but we didn’t organise it so we didn’t.

    Load of ballix. If I said the rioters on the 12th had nothing to do with the peaceful sit down protest beforehand you’d laugh me out of town. But but but, we didn’t organise it, there was no official organiser. Hands washed, nothing to do with us.

  • Framer

    The real fire problem is arson – where young people regard setting things on fire as a laugh. The cost is enormous and lives are taken.

    Two unemptied wheelie bins near me set alight against an NIE ‘pillar’ – cost £75,000.

    The council said their lids were elevated so emptying them was not permitted on health and safety grounds.

    If a big building is destroyed we are talking millions in one incident.

    David Ford needs to undertake a review of arson costs, deterrence and sentencing policy for something that understandably used to carry the death penalty.

  • Local Government Officer

    “The real fire problem is arson – where young people regard setting things on fire as a laugh. The cost is enormous and lives are taken. Two unemptied wheelie bins near me set alight against an NIE ‘pillar’ – cost £75,000. The council said their lids were elevated so emptying them was not permitted on health and safety grounds.”

    Unbelievable.

    See, THIS is the nonsense that should be getting written up. I was going to post a reply to this last night, but I didn’t. I didn’t because I do not take away from Mark’s right to post on these things. I do not take away from his heated fervour on the subject. I do not take away from his outrage – pretence or otherwise.

    But what does bother me, is that with all the talk of cutting costs, there are myriad inefficiencies which are falling through the net; so many agencies and statutory organisations who simply by the fact that they are lazy, have too many ‘rules’, or engage in the eternal ‘it’s not our responsibility’ argument, that millions get wasted just through sheer indolence and a lack of care. And what’s worse is, it is everywhere – public sector, private sector, community and voluntary sectors.

    I’m just wondering if this is something that deserves a little thread of suggestions; it might perhaps attract a little more cross-community attention, and a little less whataboutery, and may even be more widely constructive in the long run.

  • jon the raver

    How about a disclaimer – ‘communities holding bonfires do so at their own risk’

    End of story

  • percy

    pay for it, hit them in their pockets.
    leading to sorry websites called

    “Bonfire for Bigots” dot.com please donate
    keep bigotry alive

    you couldn’t make it up !

  • vanhelsing

    You’re right – they are your taxes [if you pay]. Head South – no more ludicrous problems about the money you have to pay to Her Majesties Exchequer for pointless Unionist activities…:)

  • DC

    The authorities cannot do this because they would be setting a precedent for loyalist bonfires which would immediately lead to problems. Like everything else, these problems can only be solved by political leadership, and in this instance the only people who can provide that are the unionists.

    Ah don’t you just love the ‘value consensus’ and the knock on effect of moral if not legal relativity at play here. Politicians applying democratically elected soft power, the inbetween-the-lines-pressure stuff and support of said bonfires to encourage authorities to look the other way on enfrocement till soft power can change the approaches to bonfires (think the beacon at Stoneyford).

    Mind you soft power may just be a cop out if not excuse to let such people and organisers off the hook of health and safety and environmental laws.

    Obviously, as Comrade Stalin highlights, you would think that the law and its application is a universal thing and that such values are universal i.e. values which we all should adhere to and face punishment where the law has seen to be broken.

    But based on the above evidence that viewpoint is clearly wrong!

    Ps Keep up the good work Mark, it’s informative if nothing else!!

  • drumlins rock

    if they want to charge then there would need to competitive tendering to be fair,

  • percy

    indeed, except that i’m sussex, and we have 1 bonfire a year Nov 5th, paid for by local groups!

  • percy

    which reminds me, Nov 5th is a genuine bonfire commemoration of trying to blow up the houses of parliament.
    What significance are bonfires in Ulster.
    also isn’t one clelebration a year on say 1st July or 11th July enough.
    Why can’t you just be normal?

  • Alan

    I have to agree with Drumlins Rock on all points but one.

    I’m happy to hear how much bonfires cost as I don’t have any investment in them.

    It is however true that the bonfires are organised by youngsters, not by organisations – it is a key element in youth culture in some areas – once you get a job you leave it behind.

    Also, much different from the 12th, it is a secular occurance with the focus on protestants making a decision to stay in Ireland. It is saying “Here I am, this is my home”.

    You may not appreciate them – i certainly don’t – but we have to put up with a lot of things in life and “They aren’t going away.” Certainly if your interest in bonfires is to do with safety and saving money, go ahead, but remember it’s kids you are attacking.

  • joeCanuck

    Fires also have a pagan resonance

    Indeed; the Celts have been lighting bonfires especially at Beltane (hooray, hooray, the 1st of May, outdoor fucking starts today) for thousands of years. How many people visit campsites (or the beach in front of my house); there are always lots of fires where people sit around and share jokes and tell lies.

  • DC

    Lighting fires is the most primative thing in the species of man – hence its continuation. A true quality of the human race.

  • Alan Maskey

    Here is another matter for our dear Unionist friends. I realise many of the marchers/revellers are, in part, commemorating the Battle of the Somme, 36th Ulster etc, who were very lucky – and brave – on the day compared to their fellow Brits, many of whom, I have been reliably told, went over the top crying as they knew they were not coming back.
    Given that there gallant heroes, or some of them at any rate, fell gloriously for King and Country, would it not make better sense to just commemorate them on Poppy Day?

    The Aussies, who had an unenviable reputation for killing prisoners out of hand, march on Anzac Day. During the terrorist attack on Turkey at Gallipoli, more Irish and French trooops died at the hands of the gallant Turkish defenders than ANZACS. Yet, for good or bad, the Aussies have forged their myth out of this, much like our dear Protestant brothers in Jesus and the 36th, who died for King and Country and who lie in a far off foreign field that will be forever, er, England.
    So why not just get boozed up in November? Poms do it, Jocks do, even Taffies do, so let’s do it, let’s scrap the Orange crap.

  • percy

    really useful ideas
    alan I especially love your:”here I am this is my home ”
    alan M, that poppy day commemoration is hard to beat

  • joeCanuck

    So easy. Just like that, as dear Tommy Cooper would have said. Get a grip, Alan, you are barking up a dead tree which belongs on a bonfire.

    Culture has been described as the passing on of group knowledge from one generation to another. So, whether it’s a good idea or not, it’s here to stay, for a while at least.

  • tacapall

    Mark has a fair point, why should the rest of soceity have to pay for the illegal activities of a minority. Who in their right minds would agree with the local council going to a builders yard and buying wood to the burn on a bonfire. Where else in the world would you get grants to help destroy the environment.

  • drumlins rock

    burning timber is carbon neutral, and bonfires exist in many societies, often government sponsored.

  • Alan

    Never heard anyone ever saying it was about the Somme – until now !

    What was it about before the Somme ?

  • Congal Claen

    As we’re all purely interested in saving money, I wonder how much we’d save by stopping the funding to religious schools? Afterall, the pupils could all just attend the state system. The synergies would be enormous. And it wouldn’t be sectarian either as both sides of the divide would be affected.

  • drumlins rock
  • drumlins rock

    its nothing to do with the Somme, the 1st of July Parades commerate the Somme.

  • drumlins rock

    Con, sure think of the money we would save if we stopped funding education altogether!

  • Congal Claen

    Some of the postings on here would suggest a lack of value for money. :0)

  • Michael

    “burning timber is carbon neutral”

    Uhmmm, I think you’re confusing wood grown as fuel from a sustainable source with burning sofas, household wood, pallets stolen from loading bays or Lavery’s back alley, the odd telegraph pole and coniferous trees swiped from little woods/reservoirs.

  • lamhdearg

    “It would be interesting to see how crucial parading and burning effigies, flags and rubbish is to Loyalist culture, were they actually forced to cough up some of the repair bill, security costs, medical costs, fire service call outs and lost revenues across Northern Ireland.” I think some/most of them do in that they also pay taxes. I in my post was not saying bonfire night is without fault ( there is still a pile off burnt bikes, car wheels and all sorts of child NOT friendly debris laying 20 yards from my back door) my point was that we the people pay for lots of things we dont get or dont agree with and bonfire night is one of those things for some people.

  • Comrade Stalin

    It is however true that the bonfires are organised by youngsters

    No, it isn’t true, it’s completely fucking false. I have sat and watched (from a distance) the bonfires being constructed. They are adults and they are usually the same ones who do it every year.

    Don’t try to cop out of this shit by pretending its all the work if innocent we’ans.

    Also, much different from the 12th, it is a secular occurance with the focus on protestants making a decision to stay in Ireland. It is saying “Here I am, this is my home”.

    I am all for people celebrating their culture/heritage/history. I would never try to stop anyone doing that. But most civilized cultures around the world have found a way of doing it that doesn’t involve burning rubbish, destroying people’s property, blocking public roads and usurping civil authority.

    Please don’t try to pretend this is some kind of innocent harmless activity. It is wanton flouting of the authorities and it makes a mockery of the rule of law. It is anti-social behaviour being dressed up as heritage.

    You may not appreciate them – i certainly don’t – but we have to put up with a lot of things in life and “They aren’t going away.”

    I am realistic enough to know that bonfires are not going to be stopped overnight. But we need to start with the realization that crap like this is illegal and undermines the rule of law. It’s dangerous, dirty, harms people and costs a lot of money. It can’t be allowed to continue unchecked.

    but remember it’s kids you are attacking.

    This bollocks doesn’t even stand up to cursory scrutiny. Who is it who applies to the city council for the bonfire funds ? You reckon they just hand the money over to people who aren’t even legally responsible under the law ?

  • Comrade Stalin

    What societies ? Name any society in the West that tolerates this bullshit.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Those are examples with “citation needed” all over the place.

    And having a campfire or other bonfire out in the woods far away from residences is not even remotely the same as the crap we put up with.

  • congal claen

    And there’s you risking life and limb as you tap away on your keyboard…

  • tacapall

    DR is this carbon neutral and sponsored by the government.

    http://www.u.tv/News/Bonfire-burns-down-Newtownards-home/7db93044-8704-451c-919e-e3d59e6bc30e

    I travel round all parts of Belfast with my work and I dont think I’ve ever seen a bonfire in any part that consists of just carbon neutral wood, just other peoples rubbish, tyres, anything that burns more or less.

  • lamhdearg

    Comrade, don’t agree with all you write here, the collection of july bonfires in ulster in the main are started by kids only then do adults step in to ensure safety, the funds you mention are handed over to adults yes but also this is done with the intention of good ie to manage said bonfire and prevent harm. Bonfires are held all over the world for different reasons organised properly they provide a good night for those you attend.

  • Alan maskey

    So you march on the 1st to commemmorate the Glorious Somme, the 12th to celebrate you know who and August to celebrate Derry winning the all Ireland.

    The English find all this marching shit really hard to understand. They don’t march to celebrate Dunkirk, Waterloo, Agincourt, Stanfordbridge, Hastings or “two world wars and a world cup”. They don’t wear obsolete headgear and a Catholic looking sash. Why do you have to do it?
    When Linfield win the League, do you march around until the season kicks off again? How about if Celtic get beaten? Is that another four times around the mulberry bush? I will stay with Our Lady, twenty Hail Marys, rosary beads and a refreshing drop of holy water. It is a lot saner.

  • lamhdearg

    “I will stay with Our Lady, twenty Hail Marys, rosary beads and a refreshing drop of holy water. It is a lot saner.” I like it alan, you were being sarcastic? weren’t you.

  • USA

    Those are interesting statistics Drumlin, but nothing to do with the subject at hand.

  • USA

    Well said Comrade.

  • Alan

    “from a distance” – enough said.

    Clearly you see violent language as a viable alternative to reasonable discussion – pathetic.

    I’m sure there are places where the adults help kids build the bonfires, that’s neither here nor there. What you are not seeing ( “from a distance” ) is the months of collection, storage and protection of the wood that goes on.

    It is done by kids – if you don’t understand that – then you don’t understand the phenomenon.

    On the grants side, I’m sure it’s only adults who can apply.

    Finally, if you agree that bonfires are not going away, and that your issue is safety and cleanliness, then surely you should be supporting that involvement by Councils ?

  • Alan

    Reading this thread there is one thing becomes clear – there are major events in this divided society that are completely misunderstood by one side or the other.

    What has 20 years of CRC funding been spent on ?

  • Alan Maskey

    Lamhdearg and my other dear Protestant friends: Take the Catholic rite some of your acquaintances would find the most absurd/offensive/ridiculous/whatever. That rite is much more rational, modern and sensible than marching around mulberry bushes dressed up to look like one of the Pope’s skivvies.

    Alan, you make a good point. Perhaps it is hands across the divide and they could get a good Catholic (not me) to say a dcardev of the Rosary in Irish by the bonfires as carbon neutral effigies of a certain German gentleman now residing in Rome burns.

  • Comrade Stalin

    kids only then do adults step in to ensure safety,

    Yes, the adults step in to construct the actual bonfires, demolishing the small and unstable ones constructed by children in the months beforehand. As I’ve said, I have watched them doing it.

    “from a distance” – enough said.

    At a distance I can tell the difference between an adult and a child.

    I’m sure there are places where the adults help kids build the bonfires, that’s neither here nor there.

    Will you please stop repeating these lies. The bonfires are adult events organized by adults.

    On the grants side, I’m sure it’s only adults who can apply..

    Yes, because the bonfire events are organized and managed by adults. Not kids.

    Finally, if you agree that bonfires are not going away, and that your issue is safety and cleanliness, then surely you should be supporting that involvement by Councils ?

    I didn’t say I opposed the involvement by the councils, but it’s definitely not the case that the council involvement helps keep things clean and avoids damage to property.