Gardaí warn public about new illegal 'golfball firework'
Gardai have warned the public about the danger of fireworks and a particularly powerful one that looks like a golfball.
It has a fuse attached and was found by a member of the public in the village of Clogherhead, Co Louth, and taken to the local garda station.
"If this firework had been found by children and set alight it could have caused serious injury. The consequences don't bear thinking about," a garda spokesman said.
He added that a big concern at this time of year was people buying fireworks that were poorly made and "that have little or no quality control standards".
"These could detonate prematurely or in an unexpected manner, causing serious injury," he said.
"In the run-up to Halloween, we always warn people about the dangers of illegal fireworks.
"Apart from the real dangers to the people setting them off and those standing close by, they can cause distress and fear to the local community, especially the vulnerable, as well as causing stress among pets and animals.
"There is a specific offence of throwing any ignited fireworks in public places.
"The only exception to these laws is where a professional-type firework display is authorised under permit.
"Apart from the risk of injury, fireworks can cause great distress and annoyance to elderly residents.
"They can set off intruder alarms, causing unnecessary extra demands on garda resources.
"Gardai have been active in recent days in seizing small quantities of illegal fireworks, and in one case seizing about €1,000 worth following the search of a house under warrant in Ratoath, Co Meath."
The spokesman urged parents "to ensure that their children have nothing to do with illegal fireworks".
"Enjoy Halloween festivities without putting lives at risk," he added.