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Dublin Mid West TD says fireworks are causing fear and distress in community

A Dublin Mid-West TD has called for “immediate action” to be taken over the misuse of fireworks in local communities.

Sinn Fein TD Mark Ward raised the issue and questioned the Minister for Justice in the Dail yesterday about her Department’s response to the problem.

“You only have to take a walk through parts of Dublin at night and you can witness the very visible misuse of fireworks in our communities,” Deputy Ward said.

“There is constant barrage of noise and flashing lights making our communities seem in a state of lawlessness

“I know of elderly residents who are living in fear and afraid to leave their home.

“Shop keepers and local businesses people who are fearful for their staff and customers because of fireworks aimed at them or into their premises.

“Bus routes were curtailed resulting in people having to walk through areas at night where fireworks could be aimed at them.”

Deputy Ward asked Minister for Justice Helen McEntee about the legislation in place to deal with the issue of fireworks.

“During yesterday’s debate the Minister gave a lengthy response about the legislation and that it is strong enough to deal with the issue,” Deputy Ward said.

“If legislation is indeed strong enough then it is a lack of Garda resources that is the problem.

“Operation Tombola is a Garda operation that is set up to deal with the misuse of fireworks in the lead up to Halloween every year.

“Yesterday the Minister informed me that this operation did not begin this year until 4th September despite the very visible misuse of fireworks in our communities since mid-July.

“This is a reactive response; we need to have proactive responses, or this situation will just get worse year on year

“The number of community Gardaí has fallen from 1182 in 2010 to 710 in July 2020 with a drop in Community Garda numbers in the Dublin decreasing by 55% from 508 in 2010 to 278 in July 2020. This needs to be addressed

“In my own are of Dublin Mid-West, a newborn baby had a very lucky escape over last weekend after someone posted a banger through a letterbox in Palmerstown.

“Customers in parts of Clondalkin and Lucan are afraid to use their local shops and dog walkers won’t walk their dogs because of the distress that fireworks causes them and their pets.

“I will be raising this issue directly with the Minister again at the earliest opportunity to insist that resources are put in place to tackle this scourge on our communities

“The public confidence is shattered by this sense of lawlessness.

“The public perception is that the Guards are less concerned about bangers being thrown at the public, then if the public had bangers and mash in a pub in the last 28 days.”

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