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Ferguson “disappointed” by banners on bonfire

Alliance Councillor Rachael Ferguson has said she’s “extremely disappointed” at the events of the past few days, culminated in the PSNI investigating banners on a Bogside bonfire as a hate incident.

Speaking after the incident on Thursday night, Rachael said the decision by those involved to include these emblems and banners could not be condoned, despite previous signs organisers where moving in a more positive direction.

She said: “We all as a community have to get past hate and get past provoking each other.   What makes this even more disappointing is the lengths those behind this bonfire had previously undertaken to make positive changes in the area – from removing tyres to requesting help in cleaning up after the event.

“So now it is extremely frustrating that those pro-active moves have all been overshadowed by the negative headlines these banners and emblems have caused, when across the city we have seen a concerted effort to do things differently this year.

“Moving forward I hope the conversation locally can continue and that we can see even more progress ahead of next year’s event.  Together we need to let go of the past and build a shared way forward that allows space for everyone to celebrate their culture in a safe and positive way.”