Belfast City Council to discuss bonfire motion

Belfast City Council will hold a special meeting tonight at 6:30pm to discuss a motion on bonfires brought by Sinn Fein.

The text of the motion is as follows;

“This Council is opposed to rogue bonfires where they present a threat to life, to property, to the environment, where they cause damage to public amenities and where they facilitate hate crime activities.

“On the basis of these concerns this Council gives permission to our Council officers to remove bonfire materials or employ contractors to facilitate the removal of bonfire materials from Council sites and other sites which belong to Statutory Agencies and those which are in private ownership.

Speaking about the motion the group leader, Jim McVeigh said;

We have consulted with other parties in City Hall for tonight’s special council meeting on a motion which will enable council officers to remove bonfire materials from council and other sites.

“We worked to achieve a consensus during this engagement to permit the council to move forward with the removal of materials from the site of rogue bonfires.

“Sinn Féin is opposed to rogue bonfires where they present a threat to life, to property, to the environment, where they cause damage to public amenities and where they facilitate hate crime activities.

The motion should get required support to pass.

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  • the rich get richer

    Is this about Moving Bonfires………

  • hgreen

    That motion covers all bonfires. It could be argued that all bonfires damage the environment. Plenty of wriggle room for the knuckle draggers to oppose it.

  • Granni Trixie

    “Rogue bonfires” is referred to 3 times. What lies behind that?

    Whatever the phrase refers to I would have left that out to focus on safety as a key consideration as regards all bonfires.

  • Glenn

    Would these be the same “knuckle draggers” who republicans are trying to persuade to join them in their utopian new socialist Ireland. A place where all the children are cherished equally, as are their traditions and cultures???

  • Reader

    Sinn Fein: …where they facilitate hate crime activities.
    That, at least, should be simple. There are already laws on hate crime, and burning election posters and flags doesn’t qualify. And, supposing those actions did qualify as a hate crime, only a teeny-tiny auxiliary bonfire would be required to perpetrate it. Is the council going to end up confiscating matches?
    By all means put the boot into the huge bonfires built from stolen pallets and tyres, but draft a proper motion to do the job. The motion quoted above has scope-creep written all over it.

  • T.E.Lawrence

    What happens if all bonfires end up such as this term Rogue ? One could say they where all rogue before BCC got involved with funding for them and ancillary events ?

  • Jim M

    Yeah, the motion says they are opposed to ‘rogue bonfires where they…’ So are there some rogue bonfires which are okay?? I’ve a suspicion SF, or at least McVeigh, hopes to get ‘rogue bonfire’ into the local political lexicon, by repeating it as often as possible.

  • hgreen

    Oh are you saying lawlessness and destruction of property and the environment is ok provided it’s part of your “kulture”?

    P.s. I have no time for nationalist bonfires either.

  • Granni Trixie

    Like the recently highlighted “collective accountability” for terrorist acts by individuals in the IRA?

  • Zeno

    This is about sticking it to themmuns to delight the hard core support. A pretty common political tactic here.

  • The Saint

    I despise these excuse for hate bonfires and the excuse that its ok to say KAT and all the rest because it’s some sort of anti culture.

    However I do feel it’s to vague, if these are to be community cultural events, have them licenced, licence fee would cover clean up costs, conditions could be attached also, threatening behaviour to BCC and PSNI, burning flags, KAT signs etc would result in penalties, e.g. revoking licences in that area.

    Charge them for clean up and policing, penalise sectarianism and use of heavier pollutants e.g. tires, I’d apply this to all bonfires in n.Ireland.

  • Jim M

    Not familiar with that one, when did they start talking about that?

  • 05OCT68

    The term “rouge” is unfortunate & invites the question what is a rouge bonfire. Regulation of all bonfires is whats needed & given the near disaster at Sandy Row applications for bonfires must have insurance in place. A “rouge” bonfire then becomes an illegal bonfire.

  • Granni Trixie

    I commented on Slugger when Hayes first used it (he of Birmingham bomb confession fame) when asked how he felt about what he had done and would be apologise.
    I then heard one of his fellow travellers use it too.
    I had been wondering if the concept was being introduced in anticipation of bringing it into play in political Legacy discussions. Make sense from a certain POV.

  • notimetoshine

    The debate has become so polarised that the whole bonfire debate has become toxic.

    SF et al need to realise that these bonfires aren’t going anywhere, whether they like it or not. They have got to start compromising and unfortunately are going to have to live with a certain amount of unpleasant behaviour around these bonfire events, all public events carry the possibility of anti social activity.

    Loyalists need to realise that the carry on over these bonfires is scandalous and is nothing but a black mark on the name of their community. Burning flags, religious statues, the sectarian slurs, need to stop. That these bonfires might not be the best thing for the local environment, and that council sponsored beacons aren’t the work of the devil. That questioning how wise it is to build huge piles of flammable materials next to houses and apartments, is not an assault on your culture.

    OF course there will always be issues over these bonfires. There will always be instances of bad behaviour or sectarianism. But this is Northern Ireland, we don’t have to like it, we can work to get rid of it, but no society comes out of years of internecine violence without events and actions that others are not going to find palatable.

  • Granni Trixie

    You seem to be saying that on a pragmatic basis we ought to tolerate the likes of the Sandy ROw bonfire which, even as it was being built, people living beside it knew it was potentially dangerous.
    RAther, I think this case shows we need clarity around dangerous fires and that they are not to be tolerated. However, looks that those who support fires are seeing the light and dont want a repeat next year and are trying to find com’insense solutions such as identifying a more appropriate site.

  • Jim M

    Makes sense yes – sounds grownup, shies away from consequences for individuals. Although you’d wonder if a victim could use ‘collective accountability’ as an opening for a civil claim against SF (or some other republican body)?

  • notimetoshine

    Tolerate doesn’t sound like the right word for it but yes I suppose we do just have to put up with it. Years of work will have to be put in to moderate these events and if not handled properly will just lead to a backlash from loyalists. Frankly I don’t know why they do it the way they do, and I find the whole bonfire thing loathsome but it is what it is and we just have to motor on through it with as much harm reduction as we can get.

  • Granni Trixie

    We just have to put up with a dangerous fire being lit next July? As I’ve said previously, imagine you are living in that block of flats …what a miserable year you will be having. The anxiety would impact on your well being so no I don’t think it’s patience that’s called for but cooperation to talk it through and find a better way.