Bonfire safety fears prompt proposal to trace used tyres

SDLP MLA for East Londonderry John Dallat MLA
SDLP MLA for East Londonderry John Dallat MLA

Large numbers of tyres being burned on bonfires in the north west shows the need for a tyre traceability scheme, an SDLP MLA has said.

John Dallat was commenting after a survey conducted in the north Antrim/east Londonderry area found “huge quantities” of tyres on 11th night bonfires in Coleraine, Garvagh, Finvoy, Dervock and other areas.

Mr Dallat said: “In many cases these tyres are commercial, which means they are many times the size of car tyres. They have the potential to cause serious health problems, particularly to the elderly and children with asthma and other related illnesses.

“It is now quite clear to me that there is a complete breakdown in law and order in relation to the burning of these highly toxic commodities, and it is also clear there is no control over the availability of used tyres for bonfires.”

Mr Dallat added: “The Assembly engaged in an extensive inquiry into the disposal of used tyres, consulting widely with other organisations in the Republic and elsewhere but there is a lack of agreement on how a workable traceability scheme can be introduced.”

Meanwhile, NI Fire and Rescue Service is urging people to act responsibly and stay safe when building or attending bonfires. Last year, fire crews attended 54 bonfire related incidents on the 11th night (between 6pm July 11–8am July 12) and, despite the downward trend of previous years, that was almost double the number of bonfire-related incidents attended on the 11th night in 2012.