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Actions of Mourne arsonists despicable - Cllr Willie Clarke MLA

24 March, 2006

South Down Assembly Member Cllr Willie Clarke has described as 'despicable' the people who deliberately started the gorse fire in the Mournes on Thursday afternoon.

"Those who started this fire, which for a time stretched across several miles of unspoilt hill side, have a lot to answer for. The destruction of this important natural habit for wildlife and flora and fauna, in an area of outstanding natural beauty, cannot be over stated. The mountainside will take years to fully recover from this appalling act of environmental vandalism.

"Thankfully no one was injured which is more down to luck than anything else and if the wind had been blowing from a different direction homes further down the mountain may have been threatened by this blaze. I wish to commend the dozens of fire-fighters who were on the scene throughout the day battling the fire. This places a terrible strain on emergency services and puts lives at risk elsewhere and the arsonists who started this fire have caused considerable anger locally. They need to wise up quickly before their actions have even more serious consequences. " ENDS

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