News

Dervock residents 'tyred' of toxic bonfire mess

NewsBy Steven Moore
The scene in Dervock
The scene in Dervock

This is the ‘tyre-ing’ scene that has locals of one loyalist village ‘rubber-necking’ with concern as they drive by.

Hundreds of tyres have been collected and dumped just a few feet from a play park in Dervock, Co. Antrim – all in the name of ‘culture’.

Following our report last week of hundreds of tyres being dumped at a bonfire site in Rathcoole we were inundated with calls and emails from readers from others areas who are also worried.

Locals living 100ft away are too scared to speak out publicly but are said to be furious that the toxic collection of unwanted spare tyres will be set alight on the Eleventh night.

It comes after local DUP MLA Mervyn Storey commended loyalists in March for agreeing to move the bonfire further away from nearby houses after concerns last year that properties were at risk.

But calls for bonfire organisers to stop burning tyres have fallen on deaf ears.

“The UDA has been orchestrating the bonfire in Dervock this year but the main guy behind it doesn’t even live in the village so he doesn’t have to live with the choking black fumes,” said one furious local.

The scene where tyres are being dumped for the Dervock bonfire 

“You can see just how many tyres have been gathered already – and it’s only May. There’s still seven weeks left for hundreds more tyres to be dumped.

“It’s caused real division in the village. They had signs up actually asking for tyres to be dumped but locals kept pulling them down.

“The young lads behind it have been setting fire to tyres every night for weeks while getting drunk.”

Locals have told the Sunday World they don’t mind having the bonfire but they strongly object to tyres being torched.

Dervock hosts one of the largest bonfires in the area and people travel from far and wide to see it but last year thick black ash coated the children’s play park for weeks after the fire had been cleared.

Meanwhile residents of Lawnbrook Avenue, just off the Shankill Road, say they are being forced into having an unwanted bonfire on their doorstep.

They are furious that people who don’t live in the area have decided they should have a fire – despite the fact the main Shankill bonfire is just few short yards away round the corner.

One resident said locals were not happy but were too terrified to complain to local ‘community’ representatives because some people had been intimidated for speaking out.

They said: “We fought for years to get three streets of derelict houses pulled down. They came down last year and the subsequent land was grassed over which was not ideal but it was a hell of a lot better than what we had for the previous seven years.

“Now the residents of one of the new build phases have decided that it’s a lovely place for a bonfire but they don’t have to look out their windows at it.

“There’s just rubbish after rubbish being tipped and as we speak there is someone dumping their old garden shed into it.

“Numerous residents have been in touch with the city council, who tell us it’s housing executive land so there’s nothing they can do.

“It’s only a street away from the Shankill’s main bonfire on Lanark Way, so why the need for one here?”

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