herald

Sunday 20 August 2017

Council raids tyre stockpiles in bid for safe Halloween night

Derry city getting set for the thousands of Halloween revellers that will attend the festivities on Friday. Including visiting the creatures lurking in the Chateau Le Fear, Derry's very own gruesome House of Horrors at Ebrington in the city. Picture Margaret McLaughlin © please by-line 30-10-14
Derry city getting set for the thousands of Halloween revellers that will attend the festivities on Friday. Including visiting the creatures lurking in the Chateau Le Fear, Derry's very own gruesome House of Horrors at Ebrington in the city. Picture Margaret McLaughlin © please by-line 30-10-14

DOZENS of raids have taken place across the city ahead of Halloween night.

Dublin City Council has been carrying out raids on locations secretly stockpiling wooden pallets and tyres for bonfires in the capital.

"It's all part of a drive to promote a safe Halloween that all the community can enjoy," said a council spokesperson.

The number of incidents that Dublin Fire Brigade has had to respond to on Halloween night in recent years has been decreasing steadily.

"Offering a safe environment for people to celebrate Halloween and stopping illegal bonfires has played a big part in reducing the damage Halloween has traditionally caused," said Hugh Coughlan from the council.

"People need to be aware of the very real fire safety hazards that arise from illegal bonfires, where the burning of highly combustible materials may lead to serious injuries," warned Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly.

Last year, 1,000 tyres and 800 tonnes of bonfire material were seized, and members of the public are today being encouraged to report any stockpiling that they see to their local authority.

Instead of simply clamping down on all the fun, a host of events has been organised across the capital to make sure people can enjoy the occasion safely. Fireworks and parades of ghosts and goblins are taking place from this afternoon in and around Dublin.

A spectacular display of pyrotechnics is promised over Plunkett Tower, the last remaining block in Ballymun from 8.45pm.

Scary

Other major events are being held in Inchicore, Finglas and Ringsend, and they are all free of charge.

The Otherworld Festival village has been set up in Ballymun Plaza, and in Finglas a parade of the walking dead will leave from the Civic Centre at 6pm. In East Wall there will be a magical hocus pocus dance at the East Wall Recreation Centre from 7.15pm. And revellers can expect lots of scary faces as special effects make-up has been one of the biggest sellers in costume shops.

"Batman, Superman and the clown outfit are always popular, but what we've seen this year is that people are going all out on make-up with special effects. Creepy contact lenses are really popular," said a spokeswoman from the Halloween Fancy Dress Store in Blackrock. "People also buy a kit which has latex in it, a scar and a zip."

A few shops have been selling the controversial Ebola nurse costumes along with the Bad Chemist outfit - a take on the lead character from Breaking Bad.

While humans are enjoying the festivities, for pets it is the most frightening time of year.

"Pets can become terrified during the Halloween festivities, but steps can be taken by pet owners to minimise any stress caused," said ISPCA inspector Michael Keane.

The animal charity has also warned about giving treats to pets today.

"It is important to highlight that sweets and especially chocolate are highly toxic for pets as they contain Xylitol which is poisonous to them," said a spokesperson for the ISPCA.

With temperatures expected to hit 18 degrees tonight, it certainly won't be a chilling Halloween.

jfegan@herald.ie

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