Northern Ireland

£45,000 to be awarded for community interventions during Derry bonfire season

Bonfire has been removed from a site in the Galliagh estate in Derry.
Bonfire material was removed from a site in the Galliagh estate in Derry last summer

Councillors have approved £45,000 in funding for community interventions during bonfire season.

A committee meeting of Derry City and Strabane District Council members gave the go-ahead to schemes for the Waterside, Ballyarnett and Moor DEAs.

While the council does not authorise bonfires on its land, many take place across the area.

It is hoped the move will help provide a positive outlet for young people.

Strategic Director Barry O’Hagan said letters of offer will now be sent Waterside Neighbourhood Partnership for £15,000, Galliagh Community Centre for £15,000, the Gasyard for £10,000, and Northwest Cultural Partnership for £5,000.

Sinn Féin councillor Aisling Hutton said the Moor constituents she represents were “very grateful that this money has been invested to alleviate some of the issues that occur around the bonfire season”.

“It’s also a great relief to some of the community activists that are on the ground days and nights, prior to and afterwards, trying to clear up and keep people safe,” she said.

SDLP councillor Brian Tierney said the funding would “really help the communities over the summer period”.

“Over the last couple of years all of the stories coming out of our area over the summer have all been about negative stuff,” he said.

“We have an opportunity now, working with the local groups, statutory partners, residents, and particularly young people, to try and change the narrative.

“That’s what this money is going to be used for and that’s the positive use, and the positive impact that this council can have on our community.

“It can give young people something they believe in it can change their mindset around summer activities.”