Drones were ‘invaluable’ in controlling bonfire build-up

By Maurice Garvey

INTELLIGENCE-based operations, including the use of drones, “proved invaluable” in monitoring parts of Dublin South Central in the lead-up to Halloween, according to Dublin City Council.

Halloween 2019 was a relatively quiet event in Ballyfermot and Cherry Orchard, according to authorities and Dublin Fire Brigade.

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A bonfire in the middle of the road on Benbulbin Avenue in Drimnagh

According to a report by DCC, tracking the movement of hoarded bonfire materials yielded excellent results in the South Central areas.

“Persistent removal of identified stockpiles from Dublin City Council housing complexes and nearby vacant sites had a major impact on reducing the movement of pallets and tyres in public open spaces,” it said.

Truck-loads of pallets and tyres were removed from locations in Park West, and industrial estates in Cherry Orchard, Kylemore Park and Bluebell.

It cost close to €50,000 for the Halloween clean-up in Dublin South Central, including droned surveillance €3,050, truck hire/labour €21,830, Thorntons’ disposal of bonfire materials €10,988, and €5,000 for the Ballyfermot Festival.

A team of 19 people worked over the Bank Holiday weekend to identify and track bonfire material movement.

Up to 250 bonfire material service requests were raised and responded to, resulting in the removal of 187 tonnes of mixed bonfire materials from the public domain.

While removals took place in the week leading up to Halloween, the bulk of the material was removed on October 31.

According to the council, other factors in reducing the level of anti-social behavior was alternative family fun events in the Liberties, Crumlin, Drimnagh, Walkinstown, Ballyfermot and Cherry Orchard.

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