Bonfires a significant safety threat, says Council

David Tucker

Published 12/11/2016 | 00:00

Wexford County Council says it welcomes the growing public appetite for a halt to lighting bonfires in local authority estates, but there will have to be a sea change in in the mindset of those members of the community who engage in such anti-social activity.

The council sait it will continue to support local communities in Ferndale and other areas throughout the county in their efforts to stop the practice of lighting bonfires at Hallowe'en.

'Such bonfires are a significant public safety threat with well-documented records of serious and permanent injury to persons as a result of such bonfires,' David Minogue, Communications Officer at Wexford County Council told this newspaper.

Mr Minogue said bonfires also impact very negatively on the environment, both in terms of smoke, fumes etc, and also in the manner in which they damage green areas, road surfaces and footpaths.

'Large quantities of burned out debris can remain in these public areas following Halloween bonfires, while green areas can take years to recuperate, following a fire.

'Anecdotal evidence also suggests that in some instances, accumulations of bonfire materials can be a result of 'contributions' from the local residents of the area.

'The public is reminded that such practice is an offence under the Litter Acts and carries significant penalties,' said Mr Minogue.

He said that in the recent days leading up to Hallowe'en, Wexford County Council 'has yet again removed large amounts of stockpiled materials from green areas in public estates throughout our county'.

'Coupled with the cleanup operations that invariably follow a bonfire in a public area, these efforts are a significant waste of scarce public funds.

'Wexford County Council welcomes the growing public appetite for the cessation of the practice of lighting bonfires in local authority estates and other public areas. However, this can only be achieved through the combined efforts, cooperation and resilience of the residents, the local authority and the gardai.

'It will also require a significant sea change in the mindset of those members of the community, both young and adult, who seek to engage in and support such anti-social activity,' said Mr Minogue.

Wexford People

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