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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 July, 2003, 21:41 GMT 22:41 UK
Bonfire repair bill revealed
An Eleventh Night bonfire
Bonfires are traditionally held the night before 12 July celebrations

Belfast City Council faces a huge repair bill after an Eleventh Night bonfire and break-in at one of its playing fields.

A bowling pavilion in Orangefield Park, in the east of the city, was broken into and vandalised by revellers.

Bonfires are traditionally held on the night before the Protestant Orange Order's annual 12 July parades to commemorate William of Orange's 1690 Battle of the Boyne victory over Catholic King James II.

The cost of repairing the building and cleaning up the site of the bonfire at Orangefield Park will be about 10,000.

SDLP chairwoman of the Parks Committee councillor Margaret Walsh said the money would have to come from other council projects.

"People are not able to drive into the park today," she said. "Is that enjoyment?

"Is that how people see the whole community enjoying themselves for one night?"

Part of the east Belfast complex had not yet been repaired
Part of the east Belfast complex had not yet been repaired

Meanwhile, a councillor in Lisburn, County Antrim, has called for rent or rates rebates for people living near a smouldering bonfire.

Councillor Ronnie Crawford, an independent councillor, was speaking as a huge bonfire at Ballymacash in the town continued to smoulder four days after being lit.

The bonfire sits on land belonging to the Northern Ireland Housing Executive and Mr Crawford said it resembled a bomb site.

Youth injured

The executive will be tasked to clean up the mess but Mr Crawford said many residents who had complained deserved to be compensated.

"If they are not prepared to do something to prevent the residents having to suffer two or three months of the year with their environment being turned into a wasteland, they should be giving them rent rebates," he said.

"I think also they should be looking at the question of rates rebates."

On Friday night, a 17-year-old Londonderry youth suffered burns at a bonfire.

Three people were injured when highly flammable liquid was thrown into the bonfire, causing an explosion at Newbuildings.

A six-year-old girl was treated in hospital for shock following the blast, which smashed windows in a number of houses.

The fires blazed across Northern Ireland from early evening.

Many were out of control during the peak 2200 BST to midnight, with the Fire Service recording 86 emergencies - almost double the figure for the same two-hour period last year.




WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC NI's Julian O'Neill reports
"It's not just councils who face bills for clean-ups in the weeks ahead"



SEE ALSO:
Youth injured at bonfire
12 Jul 03  |  Northern Ireland
Burning tyres 'health hazard'
07 Jul 03  |  Northern Ireland


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