Safety precautions were in place say local councillors

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The Eleventh Night celebration in Ballymacash is a well organised family event which has the support of many of its residents, according to two DUP political representatives for the area.

Assembly Member Paul Givan and Alderman Paul Porter both said that all safety precautions were met and no-one or any homes in the area were in any danger.

They were speaking this week, after last week’s story in which some residents including a Canadian holiday maker complained about the fire ,claiming that it toppled into the crowd.

The visitor also criticised the event claiming that many of the residents were up all night due to the noise.

However Mr Givan and Mr Porter dismissed the complaints saying that it was a well organised event in which everyone in the community enjoyed.

Mr Givan said, “Over the past number of years the Ballymacash Bonfire Committee has made very positive progress by stopping tyres from being used and improving the environment of the site as material is collected later in the year and better maintained to minimise disruption.

“The local community have enhanced the Eleventh Night celebrations with a family fun day earlier in the day and this year it was again very popular with residents.”

Mr Givan said that he has attended the annual event which he thoroughly enjoys since he was a child and will continue to do so.

“I have attended the Eleventh Night celebrations in Ballymacash for many years from when my dad first brought me as a child growing up in the area.

“It was my local bonfire and I’ve continued with the tradition and was able to attend this year,” he said.

“Each year safety precautions are put in place with marshals guiding people and a perimeter fencing providing a safety zone.

“For many people in our community the Eleventh Night bonfire is a cultural celebration and the Ballymacash Bonfire Committee I know take their responsibility to local residents and the hundreds of visitors seriously, working with the local community association to make sure the celebrations in Ballymacash will continue to be very popular.”

Mr Porter said, “This year as with previous years, working closely with the local community association I helped acquire security barriers to provide a safety cordon, litter bins and portable toilets for people attending the family fun day and 11th celabrations.

“I would like to commend all those who put a lot of effort into managing the family fun day and 11th celebrations event which attracted thousand from all over Lisburn.”

Mr Givan and Mr Porter added, “Across Lisburn thousands of people enjoyed the celebrations and as elected representatives we will continue to work with local communities going forward to address any issues to ensure the continued success of this important traditional event for so many people.”