‘New Lodge bonfire a danger to life’ - Kelly
The PSNI and statutory agencies are pulling out of the New Lodge because there now exists a danger to life surrounding a bonfire built by anti-social elements, Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly has said.
The North Belfast MLA commented: “I have been on the ground along with Carál Ní Chuilín MLA and party Councillor JJ Magee throughout the day supporting local residents and engaging with all the statutory agencies.
“The PSNI have now confirmed that they have pulled out of the area on the basis that there was a substantial danger to life.
“Emergency services have been activated and the statutory agencies have warned that this bonfire presents a threat to the nearby tower blocks. The Housing Executive are now intervening to advise residents of possible evacuation measures. This is a disgraceful situation because residents include people who are already vulnerable, some of whom have disabilities and other health related problems.
“Sinn Féin has been talking to the statutory agencies and residents over a period of weeks and we will continue to do so in the time ahead to ensure the community is kept informed and measures are put in place to ensure there is never any repeat of this intimidation.
“The vast majority of the community have told us they do not want this bonfire. It has been built by anti-social elements, who torture this district throughout the year and many of whom are well known."