24/11/2017

Majority Believes Bonfire Organisers Should Be Held To Account For Damage

Nine out of 10 people in Northern Ireland believe that the organisers of bonfires should be held responsible if damage is caused to property or injuries, according to a new report.

'Bonfires, Flags, Identity and Cultural Traditions', has been released by ARK, a joint initiative between Queen's University Belfast and Ulster University.

The report also revealed that flags and other forms of markers continue to divide opinion in NI.
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Dr Paula Devine, ARK Co-director, based in the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work at Queen's University Belfast, said: "The data shows that flags and other forms of markers continue to split opinion in Northern Ireland. For example, 48 per cent of respondents would support the flying of flags on lampposts throughout Northern Ireland on special dates, but 34 per cent are opposed to this. 

"We also found that attitudes vary significantly according to religious and other forms of identity. This data is very timely, given the current Commission on Flags, Identity, Culture and Tradition (FICT)."

Professor Gillian Robinson, ARK Research Director and Professor of Social Research at Ulster University, said: "Given the increased tensions around bonfires over the past few summers it is interesting to examine responses to the two new questions on bonfires included in the survey. These show that attitudes are split in terms of whether or not the public think bonfires are a legitimate form of cultural expression with 42 per cent agreeing, while 33 per cent disagree."

(CD/LM)

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