Green Party NI Belfast City Councillors will vote for an immediate review of the 2021 bonfire season, to include elected representatives, statutory agencies and bonfire builders. They are also calling upon the Executive Office to publish the delayed Commission on Flags, Identity, Culture and Tradition (FICT) report. The FICT report remains unpublished despite reporting its findings to the First and Deputy First Ministers over a year ago, and the Assembly voting for its publication in July.
Green Party Deputy Leader, Cllr Mal O’Hara said: “The Green Party NI wants to see a way forward which modernises this form of cultural expression, and ensures bonfire events are conducted safely, and with minimal environmental impact. We support a transition to beacons on council sites within a timebound period and will work with communities and agencies to achieve that.
“The five Executive parties’ repeated failure to deliver a way forward on bonfires has left local councils with the task of attempting to fill the vacuum of ministerial political leadership. It is imperative that the Executive release the FICT report that they commissioned, but can’t agree to implement or allow the public to have sight of.
“Bonfires should not pose a health risk or safety concern for anyone. We have always supported the use of beacons as a way of making bonfire events safer and more environmentally sustainable.
“It is vital that City Council policies around bonfires are drawn up in consultation with the relevant agencies and members of the community, to ensure that workable solutions are found that have community support.”
Media contact: Jack O'Dwyer-Henry (07504410770)