Clarke calls for changes to Dundrum bonfire

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Tuesday, July 10th, 2012
Newcastle Alliance representative Patrick Clarke has called on the organisers behind the DeCourcey Way bonfire, Dundrum, to consider moving it to a new location for the good of the whole community. The local Councillor, who was speaking ahead of the 11th night bonfire events, says he believes the land owned by the Housing Executive could be better used by the whole community. Speaking to Newry Times, Clarke said: “Everyone has a right to celebrate their culture, but how it is done is equally important. The bonfire in DeCourcey Way has become a matter of contention to many local residents, who fear it is moving dangerously close to their homes.” “I would therefore call on those behind the local bonfire to liaise with an open and honest intention with Down District Council, PSNI, Housing Executive and other agencies from the area in order to consider moving the bonfire to a different location, making it a more enjoyable event for all. Options have already been made via the Bonfires Liaison Committee through third parties to the organisers of the Dundrum 11th night bonfire.” He continued, “Down District Council are very willing to replace the bonfire with a beacon similar to other areas within the District that have replaced the traditional bonfire to a more environmentally option. DeCourcey Way is a shared housing development and moving forward we must think about how best to use the land to serve all the residents. A recent survey has shown that top of the list of priorities for the residents of Dundrum is a new play park. Surely the land in DeCourcey Way could be better served for this purpose?” Clarke added, “I am calling on the Housing Executive to outline its policy relating to bonfires taking place on its properties. The bonfire in DeCourcey Way is the only event to take place on that land all year. The Housing Executive could help the whole community by offering this land for a new play park. It is in an ideal location and I will be continuing to pursue the Housing Executive for answers on this issue.”
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