An event by the Lisdrumgullion Community in Newry to counteract the issue of bonfires locally and antisocial behaviour locally has been hailed as a great success.

Newry Lisdrumgullion Community representative John McCabe worked in partnership with Councillor Gavin Malone, Kerri Morrow, Newry and Mourne District Councils Electoral Coordinator (Good Relations Officer) and the Respect Project's 'Community Kicks' last Saturday afternoon to see the resolution to a contentious bonfire problem in the area.

Participants in the Lisdrumgullion community day at the weekend.
Participants in the Lisdrumgullion community day at the weekend.

The project successfully utilised the playing fields at Lisgullion, Armagh Road for their original purpose that of a community hub of fun and activity as opposed to destructive bonfires with associated antisocial behaviour.

Several weeks ago Mr McCabe flagged up a problem the Armagh Road area was suffering with bonfire material being imported into the region with a few fires having occurred at Lisgullion playing fields. Youths who were involved in gathering bonfire materials were approached by Mr McCabe who had a frank exchange with them whilst also listening to their frustrations and needs.

Mr McCabe added "Councillor Gavin Malone was invited by our community to assist in a process to direct these youths energies into positive channels and a series of sensitive talks took place with the Councils Kerri Morrow coming on board.

Enjoying the Lisdrumgullion Community event on Saturday.
Enjoying the Lisdrumgullion Community event on Saturday.

Our community activists then embarked simultaneously upon reclaiming ownership of the playing fields by engaging in environmental clean ups, resurfacing bonfire sites by laying compost and sowing grass seeds."

The organisers have thanked local businesses for their refreshments and the volunteers involved.

Mr McCabe concluded "Saturday was a success for our community development programme, District Council, The Respect Project, Councillor Gavin Malone and those bonfire makers now engaged in outdoor pursuits and other positive youth development courses."

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