Tuesday 24 April 2018

Council promises crackdown on bonfires

The Halloween bonfire at Ballsgrove last year. Picture: Colin Bell
The Halloween bonfire at Ballsgrove last year. Picture: Colin Bell

Fiona Magennis

DROGHEDA Borough Council are working closely with the gardaí to tackle the problem of illegal material gathered by youths in the town for bonfires in advance of Hallowe'en.

The council met with garda representatives earlier this month to discuss the necessary action needed to tackle the problem of children and young people in Drogheda hoarding pallets and tyres in preparation for bonfires at Hallowe'en.

'We will be working closely with the environment section in Louth County Council (LCC) to target tyre suppliers and ensure they keep old stock well secured and away from any open areas where children would have easy access to them.'

She said the council planned to keep grass cut in areas where tyres could be hidden in long grass such as large green areas and football pitches.

Ms Martin said discussions had also taken place on how they would dispose of any large amounts of materials found stockpiled in areas.

'Last year there were a couple of quite difficult incidents where council staff turned up to removed goods and were verbally abused by children in the area. We have an arrangement now to work with gardaí and remove these items during school hours when young people will not be around.'

She said during the week leading up to Hallowe'en the council will have a dedicated crew who will go in and remove any stockpiles immediately as soon as any reports are made to the council. Ms Martin revealed that over 100 tyres had been removed from Rathmullen last week in one single day.

'We have a very strong protocol in place to identify stockpiles and remove them,' she said. 'We also spoke to tyre distributors and reminded them of their legal obligation and our willingness to take legal action if necessary.'

Superintendent Gerry Smith said gardaí were dealing with two recent complaints of criminal damage and theft of pallets from local businesses.

'These pallets are actually valuable to companies,' he said. 'Kids are going in cutting wire and stealing these pallets.'

Drogheda Independent