With just hours remaining until the annual Twelfth of July celebrations get underway, officials from the AIMS project, which has been rolled out in some areas of the borough, would like to take this opportunity to express their gratitude to local bonfire builders, communities and statutory agencies for their continued cooperation during the last year.
AIMS stands for Advocacy, Inclusion, Mitigation from violence and Support and they aspire to help highlight that work is being undertaken to help tackle the well-documented problem of pollutants being burnt on the Eleventh Night. Thankfully, measures have been put in place to tackle the problem of unwanted items, such as tyres, being burnt in the Eleventh Night bonfires. Ballybogey Bonfire Site was part of the pilot scheme last year and, due to the high level of success achieved by the clean-up operation, the idea has been successfully implemented across other areas of North Antrim this year with Dervock, Finvoy and Ballymoney coming onboard.
AIMS project developed a bonfire strategy and worked closely with statutory agencies bonfire builders in Finvoy, Ballybogey, Glebe and Carnany to ensure there were no tyres on any of their bonfires this year, to ensure the areas were kept safe and tidy.
Cloughmills bonfire site was also included in the current initiative. In the past, fly tipping has been underpinned as an issue at the village’s bonfire site and with the help and co-operation of Aims, the local band and council the issue has been resolved as the traditional fire has been replaced with a modern beacon.
AIMS has further supported Mosside with their bonfire and after some initial groundwork, the Dervock community decided to take ownership of their own bonfire and made a terrific success of it.
The various strategies put in place are merely the tip of the iceberg but we can wholeheartedly reveal that the clean-up operation has been well received so far with a notable reduction in the number of pollutants being burnt in bonfires. After the Twelfth celebrations are done and dusted we will be sitting down in the coming weeks to evaluate our progress this year, developing an enhanced plan to ensure that the good work can continue into 2020.
If you are attending one of the many cultural celebrations scheduled across the borough we would encourage you to enjoy the festivities in a safe and timely fashion.
Once again, AIMS would like to take this opportunity to thank bonfire builders, communities, statutory agencies and Alderman George Duddy for their continued support.
The fires are being lit at the following approximate times (times can be subject to change)