A statement has been released by the East Belfast Community Initiative in relation to the Walkway bonfire site in East Belfast.
East Belfast Community Initiative are pleased to announce that agreement has been reached with bonfire builders at the Walkway site in east Belfast to move the bonfire away from the area of contention.
There has been considerable attention on this bonfire in recent years, and bonfire builders have been continuously let down by statutory agencies. This lack of positive statutory engagement and attempted criminalisation has led to understandable intransigence.
However the East Belfast Community Initiative believes in the principle of positive self regulation and following protracted consultation with local bonfire builders and DUP Cllr George Dorrian, this positive agreement has been secured.
The bonfire will move away from the contentious area to a safe space and the height of the bonfire will be such that it will not endanger the homes of any members of our community.
This is another positive local agreement and once again demonstrates the productivity of self regulation.
No unionist worth their salt is ever going to be regulated in their cultural expression by statutory agencies. Self regulation in order to advance our core purpose of enhancing and protecting unionist cultural expression is the only way to resolve contentious issues.
It is important to note that the contentious issues that have been used in the past to attack the unionist community in East Belfast have been resolved with community and political support.
We are not blind to the fact that the progressive pan-Nationalist coalition will now seek to find other issues to make contentious, in order to advance their agenda of cultural agitation.
Such an adversarial approach will highlight the real agenda behind nationalist targeting of unionist culture and prove that their insatiable demands will never be satisfied.
We congratulate the relevant bonfire group and east Belfast loyalists, without whose leadership and forward strategic thinking such outcomes would not be possible.