Friday 21 October 2016

Gardai in bid to stop Halloween bonfire hoarders

Residents of Sheriff Street enjoy a bonfire on Halloween night in Dublin
Residents of Sheriff Street enjoy a bonfire on Halloween night in Dublin

Gardai are already cracking down on Halloween bonfires even though festivities are still three months away.

Businesses who work with tyres and pallets have been subject to visits from gardai working from Store Street over the past number of weeks to tell them to be careful in disposing of the items to ensure they don't fall into the hands of youngsters planning bonfires.

They have also been told there will be follow-up inspections to ensure correct disposal procedures.


Cllr Christy Burke outlined the plans to the Herald and said that though it seemed early in the year, many young people had already begun stockpiling their bonfire material.

"Gardai have been visiting businesses to say that they will be back in three weeks to see receipts for the proper disposal of waste," he explained.

"Superintendent Pat Leahy in Store Street is really committed to being proactive about this and businesses in the north inner city area have been very supportive of the initiative," he said.

"I believe if needed they'll increase the inspections to weekly inspections."

It is estimated that up to 50 businesses across the north inner city will be visited by gardai as part of the operation.

"Nobody is trying to take the fun out of Halloween, but the last thing anyone wants is to see a person injured or property damaged," Cllr Burke said.

"Over the last couple of years there have been a number of dangerous incidents, including one where a child's hair caught fire, another where a child's hands were burned, and another when a child was actually thrown into a fire," he added.

The council has carried out raids of secret stockpiles of material in the run up to the October holiday in the last number of years.

"They are often stored in dangerous areas and council staff have to go in at night to remove them," Cllr Burke said.

Dublin City Council is also offering grants to local groups who want to organise alternative Halloween events such as parades or dress up parties.

Last year between 4pm on Halloween evening and 8am the following morning, Dublin Fire Brigade attended some 232 fire call-outs.

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