Councils set up working groups ahead of Halloween

By Maurice Garvey

HALLOWEEN may be another three weeks away, but authorities have been preparing for the event since August, in an effort to tackle anti-social activity and damage caused to public amenities by bonfires.

Drawing on past experiences, local authorities in South Dublin County Council and Dublin City Council have set up working groups to focus on potential trouble spots, whilst gardai have extended Operation Irene, which they say, will place more officers on the ground.

bonfire Kilclare 2

Bonfire removal cost came to €87,000 in South Dublin last year

Identifying stockpiling of bonfire material is a key part of the initiative, and drones, which were used last year for the first time, will also be utilised.

Last year SDCC received 300 reports of stockpiling from mid-October to October 31.

A total of 55 tonnes of bonfire material was collected by staff over the bank holiday weekend in 2017, whilst 156 tonnes of waste material (intended for bonfires) was removed by SDCC.

Post-Halloween, 201 tonnes of waste was removed and 388 bonfire sites were identified last year across the county.

Bonfire removal cost of Halloween 2017 was €87,000, which is a “typical annual cost” in each of the last four years according to SDCC.

SDCC are rolling out a number of initiatives in the lead up to the event, including workshops at schools and the Bulbs not Bonfires social credits scheme.

Passes will be provided to social credits applicants for access to the Civic Amenity site from October 16 – November 13.

SDCC have also invested €20,000 to fund community-based activities that address problems associated with Halloween.

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