Call for new strategy in managing local bonfires

Local Councillor Charlie O’Connor has called on South Dublin County Council to review its strategy on dealing with bonfires following recent Halloween activities.

He was responding to many representations and complaints he has received from residents and community groups throughout the Tallaght Region highlighting the many illegal bonfires which were held.

He said that only one organised and supervised bonfire was held in Tallaght and this event in the grounds of St Martin De Porres Church in Aylesbury was a huge success.

Open spaces throughout Tallaght were badly damaged by huge bonfires and areas involved included Brookfield, Fettercairn, DeSelby, Kilnamanagh, Old Bawn,Springfield and Virginia Heights.

Tallaght Fire Brigade also reported that they had to deal with a bonfire under an ESB pylon off the Fonthill Road.

According to O’Connor, the Council needs to revisit its policy in dealing with bonfires and added that provision must be made in future years to have Council staff on stand-by duty for the whole of the Halloween period.

He said however that great credit must go to the Council staff who spent hours over Halloween clearing bonfires and their interventions were particularly significant where large quantities of household furniture were made available for the bonfires.

He added that praise was also due to the local Gardai who spent the day monitoring the various sites and that the Council should consider organising family events on Halloween which would encourage people not to hold illegal bonfires on open spaces.

The whole matter is to be raised at future Council meetings by Charlie O’Connor and he believes that the Tallaght community would generally welcome such a response from the Council.

Meanwhile Lord Mayor of Dublin Brendan Carr has commended Dublin Fire Brigade and Dublin people on a Safer Halloween.

He said he was particularly happy to report that all emergency responders returned home from their shifts  uninjured. He said:

“On behalf of all Dubliners, I want to pay tribute to the 200 fire fighters and paramedics in the Dublin Region, who once again did a remarkable job in keeping Dublin safe this Halloween.

“They responded to 842 calls between 12.00 noon yesterday and 6.00am this morning, making it their busiest night of the year so far.

“Thankfully all responders returned home safely at the end of their shifts with no injuries to report.

“I also want to commend the public who largely heeded the safety messages from Dublin Fire Brigade this Halloween, and turned out in huge numbers to the many novel and safe family events organised by Dublin City Council, in association with local communities all over the city.

“The majority of the emergency calls in Dublin related largely to small fires arising from bonfires, along with standard calls involving domestic fires across Dublin city and county.

“Hopefully this year we have witnessed a shift in public consciousness away from unsafe practices at Halloween.

“This year we witnessed no fire fighter injuries, no recorded public injuries and no public order incidents where the emergency services were called and we and we want to keep it that way in future.”