A Donegal Sergeant is urging people to rethink their actions before setting off illegal fireworks this Halloween.
Letterkenny-based Garda Sergeant Eunan Walsh has issued a stark reminder of the dangers and impact of fireworks.
The sale, possession or use of fireworks in Ireland is illegal without a licence.
While this Halloween will be different to any other year, Sgt Walsh is calling on people to think of others and think of the safety risks: “Fireworks and the associated noise can cause great distress to older people who have already suffered a great deal this year because of having to cocoon in their homes and because we are now at level 5 of the plan for living with Covid-19, many of these people are staying at home once more. They don’t deserve to be frightened by firework noise in their homes.
“The noise also frightens family pets, some of whom run away from their homes because of it,” Sgt Walsh said.
“So many horrific life changing injuries are sustained at Halloween and during the run up to it every year by fireworks. Our emergency services are out there fighting Covid-19 and we would ask the public not to put unnecessary pressure on them this Halloween by using up vital resources and filling up the A&E Dept with preventable injuries caused by illegal fireworks.”
Sgt Walsh continued: “Fireworks are not only dangerous but there are severe criminal penalties for anyone who is found guilty of the offence of igniting an illegal firework, throwing an ignited firework at a person or property or possession of illegal fireworks for sale or supply. The penalties are fines of up to €10,000 and 5 years imprisonment.”
He also highlighted the serious dangers associated with bonfires:
“We would urge everyone to stay away from bonfires this Halloween. Bonfires can become unstable and can collapse causing clothes to catch fire. Bonfires often contain materials that give off toxic fumes. Bonfires use up a lot of Fire Services resources each Halloween and this causes a delay in their response to more serious incidents such as RTCs and house fires.
“We hope that Halloween is an enjoyable time for everyone but more importantly that it is a safe time,” Sgt Walsh said.