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'Downsized' Omagh bonfire remained in place yesterday despite council policy

Thursday, 13 July 2017

'Downsized' Omagh bonfire remained in place yesterday despite council policy thumbnailYouths building the bonfire at the Hospital Road site, behind Riverview Park, Omagh, yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon.

DUE to the heightened sensitivity around bonfires in Belfast, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, yesterday (Tuesday), said they were continuing to liaise with PSNI regarding the bonfire materials gathered in a field behind Riverview Park, Omagh.

Despite the council reiterating its policy that bonfires were not permitted on council property, it is understood, at the time of going to press, that the bonfire lighting was going ahead as planned last night.

Speaking to the Tyrone Constitution, DUP Omagh town councillor, Errol Thompson, said he wanted "no repeat" of last year when council staff and PSNI officers arrived to remove pallets gathered for the annual eleventh night bonfire. After consultation with the PSNI, council workers left the site without the materials.

"Hopefully the council has been engaging with the community over a period of time," Mr Thompson said. "As far as I'm aware, no tyres will be used, it is downsized and it's a matter of continued engagement between the council and the community.

"I don't want the council employees arriving out like an army. Hopefully the community engagement has worked and after the holidays there will be further engagement between the council and the community.

"I was raised in this town. There used to be six bonfires and now there's only one. We want it to be as safe as possible and controlled so that everyone concerned can have a peaceful night."

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