In light of another year of uncontrolled and illegal bonfires across the city and country this Halloween Aengus Ó Maoláin, Social Democrats representative for Castleknock and Blanchardstown has called for new thinking on bonfire regulations around halloween time.

Ó Maoláin said: “This year saw yet again an increase in the number of call outs by the Fire Brigade to illegal bonfires across the city, with at least 30 in Dublin 15 alone between dusk and midnight.

“Repeated efforts to stamp out and ban bonfires have clearly failed, and council staff and the Fire Brigade are being run off their feet dousing, and cleaning up after these bonfires.”

“We ought to look at how Bonfire Night (Guy Fawkes night) in England is handled, where community groups can get permits to hold safe, family-friendly bonfires to mark the tradition, without burning illegal and unsafe materials, or putting people’s safety at risk.

“Tyres are particularly noxious to burn and should never be allowed in these fires, similarly the safety of both attendees at bonfires, and the local communities at large must be cared for at all times. Surely community organised and supervised bonfires are a more responsible way to keep everyone safe than letting unsupervised and illegal fires burn around the city.

“Burning bonfires on halloween, or Samhain, has been part of Irish culture for hundreds of years, and while safety and the atmosphere must be protected at all costs, this is an example where a little maturity and a new way of thinking would pay dividends.”

ENDS

2 November 2017