Calls for Tyrone bonfire material to be removed

Loyalist bonfire material at Moygashel, near Dungannon. Picture by Mal McCann
Connla Young

THE Housing Executive has faced calls to remove a large amount of bonfire material from a housing estate in Co Tyrone.

Dozens of pallets and other material have been dumped on executive property at Stevenson's Avenue in Moygashel in recent weeks.

The mainly unionist area is in Mid-Ulster District Council, which recently voted to introduce a bonfire licensing scheme.

That decision sparked an angry reaction from unionists.

Although on executive land, the bonfire site is close to a recently erected sign that appears to threaten council staff.

The sign, which is one of several put up throughout the district in recent weeks, reads: ‘Attention Mid Ulster Council - continued cultural oppression can only lead to aggression toward the oppressor'.

The Housing Executive last night it “does not give approval for bonfires on our land”.

“We are one of many public bodies where bonfires are located on land without permission.

“We remove materials with community support and when it is safe for staff and contractors to do so.”

Sinn Féin councillor Dominic Molloy last night urged the Housing Executive to remove the material from its property.

“It's actually endangering their own property and other people's property,” he said.

SDLP councillor Denise Mullen described the material as “unsightly”.

“Could they not bring somewhere (to store) rather than have it sitting out for two months,” she said.

UUP councillor Walter Cuddy said there was a long history of bonfires in Moygashel and that it was “important that we listen to people with complaints and issues”.

“The thing is not to get carried away. It's an emotive issue.”

On the broader bonfire issue he said: “It's going to take sensible heads to move things on.”

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