Northern Ireland news

Housing Executive rejects compensation claim over Carrickfergus bonfire damage

Firefighters tackle a bonfire in July close to Victoria Place flats off Sandy Row in Belfast
Brendan Hughes

THE Housing Executive has rejected a compensation claim over damage caused by a loyalist bonfire in Carrickfergus.

But the housing body is still to decide on a claim made over a high-profile case in July when a bonfire on its land caused damage to a Belfast apartment block.

In October, The Irish News revealed the Housing Executive (NIHE) has previously paid out compensation for damage caused by loyalist bonfires built on its land.

Since 2013 almost 30 public liability claims have been made and NIHE settled in five cases, paying out in total almost £3,000 in taxpayers' cash.

One of 2017's claims related to damage caused to Victoria Place flats off Sandy Row in Belfast.

Windows were cracked and shattered as a result of heat from an Eleventh Night pyre built nearby on disused land owned by NIHE.

Two other claims in 2017 that remained outstanding related to damage caused following a bonfire at Oakwood Road in Carrickfergus.

An NIHE spokesman said: "Following representations made on behalf of owner occupiers located at Oakwood Road in Carrickfergus, the Housing Executive outlined it cannot accept liability for the damage caused due to third party action on its land.

"Having considered the available information around this matter, the Housing Executive acted as a responsible landowner in its approach to and handling of this issue.

"In relation to a decision to be taken around damage compensation to property located at Victoria Place in Belfast, no decision has been made.

"The Housing Executive will continue to assess the impact of bonfires built on our land across Northern Ireland."

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