SDCC collects 90 tonnes of bonfire material in run-up to Halloween

By Mary Dennehy

MORE than 90 tonnes of bonfire material has been collected by South Dublin County Council in the five days running up to Halloween.

In recent days, the council has received 149 county-wide reports of stockpiled bonfire material, which has been collected by Public Realm crews.

SDCC bonfire compressor

SDCC and gardai have been working together in the run-up to Halloween 

According to Teresa Walsh, Director of Environment, Water and Climate Change, more than 90 tonnes of material stockpiled was collected by council crews between Friday, October 25 and Tuesday, October 29.

Ms Walsh told The Echo: “All available resources will be deployed to remove bonfire materials prior to this Halloween, crews have been assigned to this task as necessary during normal working hours but also at weekend and in the run-up to October 31 itself.

“Early contact was made with the gardai to ensure that information is exchanged between the council and gardai and that assistance is provided as necessary in the effort to locate and remove the threat associated with bonfires and the storage of bonfire materials.”

Last year, the council surveyed and mapped bonfire sites across the county, with a total of 280 bonfire sites recorded in 2018.

Ms Walsh said that this mapping exercise will be repeated this year.

“This will provide details of bonfire sites to be cleaned and these sites will also then need to be revisited for reinstatement in 2020 once ground conditions permit,” Ms Walsh said.

The council also ran a number of awareness and prevention measures in the run-up to Halloween, including door-to-door WEEE collections, information and activity packs for all schools, and the provision of Halloween safety tips at family events.

The Bulbs not Bonfires scheme was back for another year, with financial support also made available to groups which arrange pro-environmental/no bonfire activities.

The council has also been working alongside gardai in recent weeks.

According to Tallaght Superintendent Ian Lackey: “Over the past couple of weeks there has been ongoing liaison with council . . . and we have a plan in place for Halloween night as well.

“We will have extra people out [in communities] and there will be a public order operation for the whole of Dublin.

“This is in place to support gardai in any Dublin district if they require assistance.”

He added: “We will be out and about from early lunchtime [on Thursday, October 31].

“If people are in any genuine fear they should contact us and, while we will be busy, we will do our best to get to them.

“Also, any concerns around bonfires call 999.

“We would also ask people who have kids to make sure they know where they are.”

Call South Dublin County Council on 4149000 or Tallaght Garda Station on 6666000.

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