Opinion

Ludicrous cost of loyalist bonfires

It is entirely ludicrous that Belfast City Council had to spend over £4,000 of ratepayers' money bringing another public body, the Department for Infrastructure, to court for failing to control a loyalist bonfire on its property in the east of the city.

However, the legal case, the details of which were obtained by The Irish News through a freedom of information request, as we reported yesterday, represented only a fraction of the overall cost of dealing with dangerous bonfires in the same area during last July.

It has already been confirmed that the policing bill alone for overseeing the removal of material from sites at Bloomfield Walkway and Cluan Place was almost £200,000, and the official proposals on related issues which are due to be tabled by the Commission on Flags, Identity, Culture and Tradition, set up back in 2016, will certainly be eagerly awaited.

In the meantime, it would be particularly helpful if the authorities attempting to cope with illegal bonfires, whether they are placed in loyalist or nationalist districts, received the full support of all our political parties.

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