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Gardai pinpoint ‘no go areas’ for firemen battling Halloween fires tonight

POCKETS of Dublin have been designated as ‘no-go areas’ for emergency services during tonight’s Halloween celebrations.

Gardai have pinpointed a number of areas across which they fear could prove dangerous to ambulance crews and firefighters.

City authorities were today set to roll out a “robust plan” in a bid to avoid any tragedies.

It is understood that extra resources have been provided to the gardai and the fire and ambulance crews as they brace themselves for the “busiest night of the year”.

A Dublin City Council operation aimed at preventing bonfires will run today and into the early hours of tomorrow morning.

But pockets of the inner city have been designated as potential ‘no-go areas' for emergency crew tonight.

Sources have revealed that information has been compiled which suggests that thugs in some areas are preparing to engage in violence which could put the lives of the emergency services at risk.

“Gardai have received information that they will be targeted, particularly in the Ballyfermot and Cherry Orchard areas,” a senior source said.

“Safety of gardai and crew members is paramount. A robust plan is in place to try and ensure that communities are protected and that we see no repeat of the violence of previous years.”

Last year, street lights in Ballyfermot were broken in advance of Halloween and four jeeps were stolen from locations in the Midlands ahead of the violence which resulted in a female garda requiring nine stitches in her head.

Some 500 staff have been working round the clock to remove more than 1,000 tyres and other stockpile material that could prove highly dangerous.

Dublin City Council today urged members of the public to contact their special hotline number – 1800251500 – if they notice any stockpiling of materials.

“Bonfires and fireworks at Halloween are extremely dangerous and cause a lot of injuries and damage,” Lord Mayor of Dublin Naoise Ó Muirí said.

“Every year Dublin Fire Brigade and Ambulance Service sees hundreds of lives put at risk. Our message is to enjoy the occasion and stay away from illegal fireworks and bonfires.”

The authorities’ efforts will be boosted by the clear and dry weather forecast for tonight.

Met Eireann says it will be generally dry tonight with light winds in the Dublin area.