Orange Order appeals for no tyres to be burned on 11th night bonfires

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The Orange Order has issued a statement calling for bonfire organisers not to accept tyres.

The call has come after protracted public debate in recent weeks about the environmental impact and legality of some bonfires burning substantial numbers of tyres.

Yesterday the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland made an appeal regarding the burning of tyres on Eleventh night bonfires.

“Bonfires are an important part of the Protestant culture and celebrations in July, and it is important that everyone who wants to participant in them enjoys doing so,” the order said. “In particular bonfires should be welcoming to families and it is encouraging to see community events being organised on bonfire night in many areas.

“While the Grand Lodge or the Orange Institution does not organise bonfires, we are conscious that there are genuine health and environmental concerns about the burning of tyres on bonfires, and we would encourage those involved in bonfires not to accept tyres.

“We receive many contacts at this time of year from people who believe we are responsible for the bonfires, and on their behalf we encourage the many bonfire builders to take on board concerns over tyres.”

UUP MLA Roy Beggs has warned that a bonfire on the Oakwood Road in Carrickfergus poses a serious threat to public safety and local electricity supplies after hundreds of tyres were illegally added to it.

Meanwhile Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson has slammed those who have placed Alliance election posters of Anna Lo on bonfires in Carrickfergus and Bangor.

“This is a hate-filled crime which is an example of gross intolerance,” he said. “It is hypocritical for the organisers of these bonfires to call for respect for their culture when they are burning posters of politicians.”