Long condemns placing of flags and posters on bonfires

Alliance Councillor Michael Long has condemned the placing of various flags and election posters on a number of bonfires during Eleventh Night celebrations.

East Belfast Councillor Mr Long said while he was thankful the much-discussed Chobham Street bonfire passed off without anyone being injured or property being seriously damaged, the presence of several election posters on it was shameful.

“Alliance has no issue with anyone celebrating their culture in a respectful and tolerant manner. However, placing Alliance posters on bonfires, as happened in East Belfast and East Antrim among other locations, as well as those from other parties and national flags, is neither respectful nor tolerant.

“Chobham Street saw six fire appliances and 35 firefighters attend to prevent any serious damage being done to the houses beside it. Those are valuable resources that could have been used elsewhere. The placing of the election posters of Naomi Long and others on it added an extra menacing edge to events.

“We will be reporting this to the PSNI and asking the various Councils to investigate whether any supported bonfires breached guidelines by the presence of flags or posters. We must move away from this disgraceful behaviour. This is not about being anti-bonfires but rather building a community where respect is paramount.”

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