Bonfire ban not possible

A councillor called at this month’s Carrick-on-Suir Town Council meeting for Halloween bonfires to be banned in the town but was told it was impossible to prevent them.

A councillor called at this month’s Carrick-on-Suir Town Council meeting for Halloween bonfires to be banned in the town but was told it was impossible to prevent them.

Cllr Pierce O’Loughlin tabled a motion at the meeting calling for a ban on Halloween bonfires because of the cost of cleaning them up, the risk of serious accidents at them and the theft of property such as tyres for use as fuel on the bonfires.

He withdrew the motion after being informed bonfires were actually illegal. However, they still go ahead in the town each Halloween.

Town Clerk Michael O’Brien explained the Council didn’t feel it was possible to prevent them and instead worked closely with community groups to minimise and mitigate their impact.

He said the Council spent considerable resources cleaning up bonfire sites.

Cllr O’Loughlin described the bonfires as an “out of date” tradition and “barbaric” and said there were plenty of other ways to celebrate Halloween.

The Mayor Cllr Kieran Bourke said the Gardai worked with the Council and residents groups in having controlled and stewarded Halloween bonfires over the last few year.The Gardai took a serious view on the issue and it was to be discussed at the town’s Joint Policing Committee ahead of the Halloween celebrations this week.

He agreed the bonfires cost the Council a lot of money but as someone who enjoyed them growing up in the town he wouldn’t like to see them go completely.FG Cllr Margaret Croke said she would hate to deprive the children for the town of the “magical element” associated with the Halloween bonfires. She did object to property being stolen for them but that was a matter for the Gardai. FF Cllr Sylvia Cooney-Sheehan feared an outright ban would make bonfires appear cool and they would be twice as bad in the town. “It would be a red rag to a bull,” she said.