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Halloween clean-up bill set to reach €1m

DUBLIN has been counting the cost of the Halloween celebrations, with the bill expected to reach €1m.

The local authorities are set to spend that amount on clearing debris and charred remains from public areas in the wake of the Bank Holiday weekend festivities.

It comes after budgets were stretched last week when parts of the capital were submerged in water.

Dublin City Council and the three county councils of Fingal, South Dublin and Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown are believed to be facing a Halloween clean-up bill similar to the 2010 figure.

Last year, the city authority spent €1m as it re-instated open spaces left damaged by unauthorised bonfires. The other three councils spent tens of thousands of euro as well.

Dublin Fire Brigade reported more than 1,000 calls on Monday night. There were 296 calls for fire services in the city and county and some 400 calls for ambulances.

Meanwhile, Dun Laoghaire council said its efforts in clearing away stockpiled bonfire material leading up to Halloween "proved effective" in reducing the number of blazes.

A spokeswoman noted that, in 2010, the bulky waste collection and clean-up in parks and open spaces cost the local authority in the region of €56,000.

Fingal said its staff removed bonfire material from 35 sites in the Castleknock and Mulhuddart areas prior to Halloween night. They also removed up to 14 tonnes from the Howth and Malahide areas as well as a large quantity from Balbriggan and Swords.

South Dublin County Council told the Herald it had yet to calculate the full cost, though it pointed out that €70,000 was spent last year.

A spokeswoman added that the number of bonfires this year was similar to last year's amount of 343 throughout the jurisdiction.