Community Restorative Justice Newry/Armagh project would like to congratulate the hard-working community representatives in all Neighbourhood Renewal Areas in Newry City who ensured that there were no bonfires on the night of 9th August 2022.
Several years ago there were a number of contentious bonfires in some areas. It is generally acknowledged that these bonfires were accompanied with anti-community activity, offensive slogans and the burning of flags and effigies of political/community representatives.
In 2020, our Safer Stronger Communities Project, organised a series of meetings with the PSNI, NMADDC, PCSP and the Community Associations from within the Newry Neighbourhood Renewal area. These multi-agency meetings were designed to formulate a strategy to put an end to unwanted bonfires.
In the weeks leading up to the 9th August 2022, CRJ Safer Stronger Communities Project, engaged with community associations and also relayed their concerns to all statutory agencies. This multi-agency collaborative approach to ensure community safety resulted in the collection of illegally dumped tyres in the Newry area.
The combined response from all agencies has proved very effective as this year there were no bonfires on the night of 8th / 9th August 2022. This was achieved by the hard work and commitment of community volunteers supported by Safer Stronger Communities Project and political representatives. This will also alleviate the burden of extra costs to local rate-payers incurred previously in cleaning up these areas.
Safer Stronger Communities will continue to support and work in partnership with community workers in all Neighbourhood Renewal Areas to ensure a better living environment for everyone in the community.