Bonfire is not a problem

SIR, — Down District Police Partnership recently met in Dundrum and a welcome discussion took place on traffic calming measures in the village. I was unable to attend the meeting but such measures are clearly needed and I have asked the Roads Service to give serious consideration to implementing schemes in Dundrum, Clough and Ballynahinch.

I was however appalled to read the malicious fabrication regarding the Dundrum bonfire. I believe the comments made by the local resident, and Alliance and Sinn Fein councillors were a disgrace, although I congratulate them on their headline grabbing propaganda.

During the run up to the bonfire I spent many nights in the area and can guarantee that those present at the bonfire were not drinking and chanting as was suggested. I totally repute any suggestions of sectarian behaviour. For Patrick Clarke to claim there was “borderline hatred and sectarian behaviour” is ridiculous.

Beacons may be well and good for Ballynahinch, Spa and Downpatrick and make for pleasing picture opportunities in local papers, but Dundrum has a well organised bonfire by a dedicated committee and the street party on the 11th night is pleasing to many local residents. 

I would also like to point out that the bonfire street party last year was attacked by armed men chanting republican slogans.

I would be happy to meet with the local woman from Dundrum who feels so strongly about the distress the bonfire causes her. UKIP believes the bonfire in Dundrum is a well established and acceptable manifestation of culture that should be protected in its present form. UKIP will oppose the belligerence of militant republicans in their sectarian attempts to end this annual event which has been held by people who have lived in the Dundrum area for generations and are entitled to have their traditions and culture respected.

Yours etc.,


Down District UKIP