Stockpiling bonfire material will ‘increase substantially’

By Aideen O'Flaherty

IT is expected that the stockpiling of materials for bonfires will “increase substantially” over the course of this month, according to South Dublin County Council.

The local authority stated this in response to a query by Fianna Fáil councillor Charlie O’Connor, in relation to the protection of the open space at Treepark Road in Kilnamanagh, which is adjacent to the M50, during Halloween.

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Bonfire material being removed last Halloween

This section of Kilnamanagh has been a hotspot for the stockpiling of bonfire material in recent years, which led to Independent councillor Mick Duff telling The Echo last Halloween that residents in the area were “pulling their hair out” in frustration at the growing pile of material, which was ultimately removed.

The council stated, in part, that: “While there have been some reports of stockpiles of bonfire materials in August, it is expected that this activity will increase substantially during September.

“During the run up to Halloween 2018 there was a high level of cooperation between council staff, local residents and An Garda Síochana in relation to measures required to intercept bonfire materials and to protect public open spaces in as far as this is possible.”

The council collected in the region of 300 tonnes of waste material across the county in the lead-up to Halloween last year, and a further 200 tonnes were collected during the clean-up afterwards.

Cllr O’Connor told The Echo: “Nobody wants to spoil Halloween for anyone, but we need to respect our open spaces – we don’t want the annual carnage that happens in our open spaces.

“We have to keep our young people safe and we have to keep our public spaces protected and preserved.”

Cllr O’Connor added that it was important for local businesses to be mindful of where their waste goes, and to ensure it doesn’t end up being used in a bonfire.

The council said that while a bonfire was lit in Kilnamanagh last Halloween, it was “a much smaller event than in previous years”, as a result of actions by council staff, local residents and gardai to quell the stockpiling of bonfire material.

“The council propose to implement similar measures again this year, and in this regard it is hoped that a meeting between the council, local residents and An Garda Síochana can take place soon to discuss measures to be taken to deal with the threat of damage to the public open space,” stated a South Dublin County Council spokesperson.

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