Ghouls and ghosts ahead – but watch out for the illegal bonfires
By Mary Dennehy
HALLOWEEN can be a scary time for communities, including South Dublin County Council which last year spent in the region of €50,000 cleaning up the aftermath of 350 unofficial bonfires.
This year, to raise awareness and encourage South County Dublin citizens to stay safe, the council has published an information leaflet providing facts and tips on how to stay safe this Halloween – alongside listing some spooky, alternative events for little ghouls.
According to the council, the scorched earth that remains after an illegal bonfire takes around 18 months to recover, alongside putting extra burden on local authority staff, emergency services, An Garda Síochana and Dublin Fire Brigade – which answers in excess of 1,100 calls over the Hallowe’en period.
Speaking at the launch of the Hallowe’en Safety Campaign in the Clondalkin Civic Office recently, County Mayor Sarah Holland said: “Halloween is a night for having fun but we must also remember it can be a dangerous time too and we should be mindful of our safety.
“Bonfires are illegal and are an avoidable extra burden on our already busy Dublin Fire Brigade and Emergency Services, council staff and Gardai.
“Bonfires are also an unnecessary expense on the council, last year approximately €50,000 was spent on clean-up operations associated with the 350 bonfires which took place. This money could have been put to better use in our communities.”
Residents are reminded of the councils Bulbs not Bonfires reward scheme which provides communities with flowers in return for organising alternative, environmentally friendly Hallowe’en activities – with 115 applications received by the council last year.
The council is also staging a number of spooky, alternative and fun events in its libraries in Tallaght, Lucan, Ballyroan, Clondalkin, Whitechurch and Castletymon.
As part of their awareness campaign, families have been encouraged to think about road safety on Hallowe’en night, with adults always accompanying young children and high visibility arm bands and vests worn.
Recycle IT is also offering free collection days in communities so that hazardous electrical equipment and batteries don’t make their way into bonfires.
Call John or Una on 4578321 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book a collection. South Dublin County council’s Hallowe’en leaflet is available across local libraries and other public buildings and at www.sdcc.ie