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'Residents need clarity on bonfire repairs’ - Hargey

21 July, 2017 - by Deirdre Hargey

Residents deserve clarity over who will pay for damage to their homes caused by a controversial Eleventh Night bonfire, Sinn Féin Counillor Deirdre Hargey has said.

The South Belfast representative was speaking after a multi-agency meeting in Belfast to discuss the fallout from the Sandy Row bonfire which damaged homes in a nearby apartment block.

“I find it incredible that just weeks after the horrific Grenfell disaster in England, that none of the statutory agencies including the council, the PSNI and Fire Service had no objections to bonfire being built so close to residential properties,” Cllr. Hargey commented.

“This bonfire was clearly a threat to people’s safety. It was so hot that it melted and cracked windows and residents had to be evacuated from their homes.

“There should be no repeat of this situation and this week’s meeting was an important step in putting together the correct multi-agency approach to avoid similar scenes in the future.

“However, the failure of unionist parties to show leadership on this issue or even to attend the meeting shows complete disregard for the residents. That is completely unacceptable.

“The residents are also still no clearer as to who is responsible for paying for the repairs to their property. Residents need immediate clarification as to where responsibility lies and it should not be with them because they are not the people at fault here.” 

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