Tyres on bonfire concern McKinty

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Ulster Unionist councillor Mark McKinty has appealed for calm ahead of this weekend’s traditional bonfires.

In a statement, he said: “This weekend will see a number of traditional bonfires lit across Larne and further afield.

“This area’s fires have traditionally been well-organised and maintained tidily.

“I recognise concerns of property owners in the vicinity of fires and have worked with council and statutory bodies to ensure preventative measures have been implemented where possible.

“I am also disappointed that the number of tyres appears to have increased this year, and NIEA needs to do more to prevent this in the future.”

“For many people, 11th night bonfires are a legitimate expression of cultural heritage commemorating the historic arrival of William of Orange in Ireland.

“It should be celebrated in the context of a family celebration and without intimidation.

“I would urge all spectators to enjoy the celebrations in a safe, respectful, and courteous, as fitting of the memory of such a historic ‎occasion.”

The NI Fire and Rescue Service has urged people to act responsibly and stay safe when building or attending bonfires.

Last year, fire crews attended 44 bonfire related incidents on the Eleventh night across Northern Ireland.

A spokesperson for Northern Ireland Electricity added: “Bonfire flames anywhere near power lines and electricity sub-stations are a serious risk to everyone’s safety and well-being.”

More pre-Twelfth coverage on pages 8, 12 and 13.