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Stones hurled at fire engine

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The smouldering remains of a bonfire at Lisheen Park, Knockbridge on Saturday morning

The smouldering remains of a bonfire at Lisheen Park, Knockbridge on Saturday morning

The smouldering remains of a bonfire at Lisheen Park, Knockbridge on Saturday morning

Fire-fighters were twice attacked in Knockbridge by youths throwing fireworks and stones in incidents that have been widely condemned.

One attack was so bad that firefighters made the decision to pull out of dousing a bonfire. And missiles were thrown at the brigade as they went through Knockbridge en route to another call less than an hour later.

The first incident happened on Halloween night around 9pm when Dundalk fire service was called to a bonfire at Lisheen Park in the village.

One unit was sent to the scene but when the firefighters arrived, the fire engine came under attack by stone-throwing and firework-hurling youths.

A spokesperson for Dundalk fire and rescue said: 'One unit went to the scene but when we arrived, there was a gang of around 50 youths. Stones and fireworks were being thrown at the fire tender by some of the young people.

'It's hard to say how many were involved. There was a bonfire burning on the green area on the estate and once we had established it was not a threat to life or property, we decided to pull away from the area as we were under attack'.

But less than an hour later, the fire engine was under attack again as it drove through Knockbridge on its way to a fire at Cavan Hill around 10pm.

A spokesperson said: 'There was some damage to the fire engine but thankfully no-one was injured. It was a busy night for us and we certainly didn't need to be dealing with people coming at us with stones and fireworks'.

The incidents have been condemned by fire chief Eamon Woulfe who called them 'reprehensible and outrageous'. He said: 'The fact that people were attacked while they were trying to do their job is outrageous.

'There seems to be an increasing amount of attacks on fire-fighters in Louth, all of which I would utterly condemn'.

Knockbridge- based councillor Declan Breathnach said the incidents were 'appalling'. He said: 'They should be condemned by any right-thinking person.

'It's bad enough that there is an ongoing problem with Halloween bonfires at Lisheen Park, which i s illegal, but for firefighters to be attacked is despicable'.


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