Bonfire site clean-up welcomed as ‘a positive step’

Raymond Smyth (centre), Principal of Earlview Primary School, with Jack Shaw (second from left), Chairman of New Mossley Community Group, and some of the bonfire builders who helped clear up the mess along Manse Way last Wednesday. INNT 22-057-FP
Raymond Smyth (centre), Principal of Earlview Primary School, with Jack Shaw (second from left), Chairman of New Mossley Community Group, and some of the bonfire builders who helped clear up the mess along Manse Way last Wednesday. INNT 22-057-FP
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NEW Mossley Community Group has thanked bonfire builders in the estate for reacting positively to calls for the removal of piles of waste that had been dumped at the edge of the bonfire site on the green at Manse Way - just yards from the entrances to Hill Croft School and Earlview Primary School.

Following complaints from local schools, churches and residents about the eyesore at the side of the road, where old fencing, sofas, mattresses, tree cuttings and other waste had been dumped, the bonfire builders took steps to move the offending materials last week.

On Wednesday (May 23), the bonfire builders hired a digger and dumper truck, and with help from drivers from Coffey Construction, moved the bulk of the waste away from the side of the road and into a pile at the bonfire site in the centre of the green.

Jack Shaw, Chairman of New Mossley Community Group, who had relayed people’s concerns about the mess along Manse Way to the bonfire builders, said the grass area had previously been “too soft” to allow the materials to be moved onto the bonfire site.

“A lot of people are saying that the bonfire shouldn’t be there in the first place, but we have to be realistic, there is going to be a bonfire as people want to celebrate their culture,” he said.

“It’s understandable that people were complaining about the mess - they don’t want their area turned into a dump. But they (the bonfire builders) have shown accountability and listened to the local community and I think they should be recognised for that. They have listened to the concerns of the community and they’ve done something about it and that’s a positive step, which is brilliant. They have paid for the hire of the digger and they are trying to make the site as tidy as possible.”

Raymond Smyth, Principal of Earlview Primary School, thanked the bonfire builders for taking on board the school’s concerns.

After contacting the Community Group about the mess lying along the side of Manse Way, Mr Smyth was visited by one of the bonfire builders who assured him they would clean the place up.

“We have induction days at the start of June for new P1 and nursery pupils and we want the place to look as well as possible, so I’m pleased that the community has listened to the school and sees the school as part of the local community. It’s great that the place is being tidied up, I’m absolutely delighted,” he told the Times.

New Mossley’s bonfire builders didn’t sign up to Newtownabbey Council’s Bonfire Protocol this year, but it’s understood that Mr Shaw will be meeting with them again in the coming weeks to discuss the possibility of getting tyres removed from the site prior to the July 11 celebration.