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Bonfires need to become a thing of the past – Paul Maskey

9 August, 2013

Sinn Féin MP Paul Maskey said bonfires such as that which took place at Divis last night need to become a thing of the past.

The West Belfast MP said:

“A lot of people involved in this bonfire are anti-community and are on a daily basis making life miserable for the people in the lower Falls area.

“The stark difference in West Belfast this week was the thousands who have been attending Féile an Phobail, with bigger crowds than ever, and a tiny minority who for whatever reason believe they can visit this type of destruction on the community.

“Bonfires such as these need to be left in the past. The majority of the community have moved on and see these fires as an excuse for anti-social activity including drinking, drug taking and abusing residents. They have nothing to do with commemorating internment or political struggle.

“At the same time there are a number of young people who do collect wood for these bonfires that are not involved with the more sinister criminal elements. These young people need to be convinced that there are better ways to use their energies.

“Statutory bodies, local community and political representatives need to come together and ensure that everything possible is done to bring these destructive events to an end.”

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