Environment Minister Edwin Poots urged to take action over use of tyres in loyalist bonfires

An Alliance MLA has called for the Department of the Environment to take action over the use of tyres on loyalist bonfires.

Tuesday, 29th June 2021, 6:32 pm
Updated Tuesday, 29th June 2021, 6:36 pm

Scores of towering pyres are appearing in loyalist areas across the region ahead of the annual July 11 bonfires commemorating the Battle of the Boyne.

Andrew Muir, who represents the North Down constituency, said Environment Minister Edwin Poots should act against those supplying and using tyres for bonfires.

He said he recently received photographs showing a significant number of tyres at the site of a large bonfire in the Kilcooley area of Bangor, and warned of “severe health and environmental consequences” if they were lit.

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A loyalist bonfire in the Kilcooley area of Bangor, Co Down.
A loyalist bonfire in the Kilcooley area of Bangor, Co Down.

“It is concerning to see the tyres stacked in this bonfire and I urge the organisers to remove them,” he said.

“Burning tyres releases more than 100 toxic and carcinogenic chemicals into the air and the fine particles can settle into people’s lungs, leading to heart problems and other issues. Local residents should not have to suffer this.

“The Environment Minister Edwin Poots needs to take action in tackling these environmental crimes. I have submitted a number of Assembly questions to ascertain exactly what his department is doing and will continue to push for more to be done.

“In the meantime, robust action could be taken against those supplying and using the tyres for putting people’s health and the environment at risk. That deterrent from the minister may stop similar behaviour from happening in future.”

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