A Causeway Coast & Glens TUV Councillor has hit out at an Irish News article showing a picture of bonfire in the North Antrim village of Detvock, calling it ‘misleading.’
Speaking following the publishing of the article, TUV Causeway Councillor Allister Kyle:
“Today’s Irish News ran a piece headlined “Bonfire tyre amnesty scheme underway at Causeway Coast and Glens Council”.
“It is right and proper that news of the Council’s Environmental Committee Initiative, supported by the Northern Ireland Environmental Agency, and endorsed by the Ulster Farmers Union, was published and essentially advertised. However, the use of a photo showing a bonfire in Dervock from 2017 is deeply disappointing.
“In recent years many steps have been taken by the community of Dervock to improve the 11th Nightexperience.
“Prior to 2018 it was said Dervock’s bonfire was costing a considerable sum for the clean-up operation. Following the 2018 pyre, an initiative was taken by the Dervock community and they signed up and agreed to training and protocols run by Dalriada Training. The organisers have full ownership and monitor the pyre so that only suitable material is burnt. Before building, pallets are all stacked in cages to prevent anti-social behaviour. During the building, fencing is used to keep site closed off at all times and pedestrian barriers are employed during the fire to keep spectators back and safe. Following the July celebrations the community clean all debris into a skip provided by council leaving the site in its original state.
“Those linked to the bonfire are proud to be able to say that no grants or funding is supplied from statutory agencies. All fundraising is collected by the local band and community association.
“The bonfire committee has actually been mentioned as the best in the Causeway Coast and Glens area and even the then Mayor in 2021 Richard Holmes along with my party leader Jim Allister attended a walk around, in acknowledgment of how far the celebration had come.
“When I speak with council officials, I am told that no complaints have been made to council since 2018 and they are not aware of any negative feedback in recent years since the local group have taken on responsibility for the bonfire and Minimal clearance work has been required. They are not aware of any antisocial behaviour in recent years and assure me there have been no tyres on the bonfire. In short, it is a well-run and safe community event.
“In 2022 the bonfire was erected over a 3 day period. The funday ended up with approx 300 people and was well received by the community, with children’s bouncy castles and Dervock & District Community Association funded musical entertainment, children’s characters and face painters.
“As well as the tyre amnesty, Council is pleased to provide signage, fencing panels, litter pickers, gloves and bags for groups who want to take an active role in clearing up.“It was sloppy journalism by the Irish News to simply troll their old archives for a picture of a negative bonfire and picking out Dervock without acknowledging the strides made by those who have shown the initiative to have one of the cleanest Bonfire and July Community Fun Day sites in the Borough.”