Gardai have warned the public, and especially parents, about the dangers associated with fireworks.
“Every year at Halloween, dozens of children attend accident and emergency units nationwide with serious burns and hand injuries. These children are mostly between 10 and 12 years of age,” said Sergeant Paul McDermott.
“Fireworks have caused blindness, third degree burns, permanent scarring and loss of fingers. All fireworks can cause injury (even sparklers burn at more than 1,000°F). The body parts most often injured are the hands and the head. Fireworks can also cause residential and motor vehicle fires. They are also a major cause of annoyance to the public particularly the elderly who are often afraid to leave their homes at this time of year.”
He said parents are requested to be extra vigilant during this Halloween period and know where their children are at all times.
“They should be aware that there are significant penalties for possessing, using and selling fireworks. Any person convicted of igniting a firework at any place or who throws an ignited firework towards a person or property or who possesses a firework with intent to sell or supply faces fines up to r10,000 and five years imprisonment.
“A person committing any of those offences can be arrested and detained for questioning. Any person considering going to the north of Ireland or abroad to buy fireworks, should also be aware that if found importing fireworks into the state without a licence can also have their vehicle confiscated in addition to the other penalties.
“Parents who discover that their children have bangers/fireworks are asked to remove them and hand them into their local Garda Station. This time of year can be a nightmare for residents young and old and An Garda Siochana ask that those people’s rights to enjoy their home and there locality be respected.”
If you have any information about who is supplying fireworks or where they are being stored please report it to your local Garda station. If you have any information relating to the illegal importation/sale of fireworks please contact any Garda Station or use the Garda Confidential Line – telephone number 1800-666-111.