Hopes remained high that the annual bonfire in the Bogside which has been highly contentious in recent years, will pass off without major incident tonight.
Yesterday afternoon the material being stored in the area had not yet been assembled into a pyre and there were no signs of tyres in the area nor any political paraphernalia that has been burned in previous years.
Brian Tierney, Chair of the Bonfire Working Group which consists of elected representatives, told the Derry News that the location of the fire had not as yet been decided upon, but that he was hopeful that a sensible resolution to that particular issue would be finalised before tonight.
“We are hoping there will be no tyres placed on the fire. Youth workers in the area have been continually talking to the young people about the effects that can have on the environment and properties and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive and other statutory agencies have been involved as well.”
Earlier this month young people involved in organising the bonfire were praised after agreement was reached with them on the removal of more than 200 tyres planned for the fire had been stockpiled underneath the Lecky Road flyover.
Councillor Tierney added: “There has been no sign of any tension in the air in terms of inter-community strife which was present last year, but that doesn't mean that can't change very quickly.
“There's lots of stuff going on in the area. Anyone who wants to see fire can attend the Festival of Fire in the Gasyard. There are also three day events during the Feile such as the recreation of the Freedom Fleadh which took place after the Battle of the Bogside.”
And, Councillor Paul Gallagher who also sits on the Bonfire Working Group said he believed that there will be a positive outcome to tonight's event in the Bogside.
“What is missing this time is that there is no tug-of-war between the young people, political and community representatives and the statutory agencies. Everyone is on the one page and I hope that will mean that young people will not be demonised or marginalised and that everything will pass off peacefully tonight.
CAPTION: An image of the bonfire in the Bogside in 2018.
If you have a story or want to send a photo or video to us please contact the Derry Now editorial team on 028 7129 6600 for Derry City stories Or 028 7774 3970 for County Derry stories. Or you can email [email protected] or [email protected] at any time.