Wicklow County Council strongly discourage bonfires ahead of Halloween celebrations

Bonfires may have a historical role in the celebration of Halloween, but Wicklow County Council reminds the public that they can be incredibly dangerous when handled incorrectly near residential areas.

Wicklow County Council are appealing to people to stay safe this Halloween and reminds the public to celebrate the occasion responsibly and discourage the use of bonfires.

Bonfires are illegal and in accordance with the Council’s commitment to ensuring safety and environmental responsibility, Wicklow County Council will not undertake the cleaning up of the remains of bonfires after the event.

Any clean ups remain the responsibility of the residents concerned, with the exception of situations which involve significant safety concerns.

In the following instances, consultation with the Fire Service will be required and a waste contractor may be brought in to remove material:

  • Where dangerous materials are involved such as gas cylinders
  • Where the bonfire is situated close to wires, trees, or property

If anyone encounters a bonfire being built that appears likely to pose a significant danger of this type, please contact the Waste Management Section of Wicklow County Council during office hours at 0404 20127 or email envcomplaints@wicklowcoco.ie.

Clean-ups will require the presence of the waste contractor, an Environmental Warden and An Garda Siochána for security reasons. Please note that clean-ups will not take place after the 30th October.

While WCC discourage bonfires, they encourage alternative ways to enjoy the holiday such as community events, costume parties, and other exciting activities.

Cathaoirleach of Wicklow County Council, Cllr Aoife Flynn Kennedy, commented that: “Bonfires are upsetting for many local residents.  They can leave people in fear of the risk from fires getting out of control, anti-social behaviour and the distress they cause to pets. People suffering from respiratory problems will suffer more than others. There are better ways to celebrate and enjoy the evening with friends.”

Chief Executive, Wicklow County Council, Emer O’Gorman, added: “Halloween is always the busiest night for our emergency services including Fire, Ambulance and Gardai.  They are diverted from urgent work unnecessarily to respond when bonfires or crowds around them cause problems. Help them do their job by celebrating in a responsible and safe manner without bonfires or antisocial behaviour.”

For further information and inquiries, please contact:  Wicklow County Council Waste Management Section, Phone: 0404 20127 (During office hours) envcomplaints@wicklowcoco.ie .

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