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Operation Tombola Gardai issue public appeal to report suspected bonfire material in the run up to Halloween

'Gardaí are asking the public to keep an eye out for any pallets/tyres that are left out and to notify your local Garda station or your local authority/County Council'

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Gardai in Mountjoy with a seizure of pallets last night

Gardai in Mountjoy with a seizure of pallets last night

Gardai in Mountjoy with a seizure of pallets last night

Gardai have appealed to members of the public to report any build-up of suspected bonfire material as they step up efforts to thwart antisocial activity in the run up to Halloween.

Last night in Dublin Community Gardaí in Mountjoy were hard at work seizing over 25 pallets as part of Operation Tombola.

“Gardaí are asking the public to keep an eye out for any pallets/tyres that are left out & to notify your local Garda station or your local authority/ County Council,” gardai posted on Facebook.

It follows other recent seizures including 2,000 fireworks that were discovered during a traffic stop and follow up searches in Bray during the week.

Posting a picture of the explosives on their Facebook page, gardai in Wicklow wrote: “As part of Operation Tombola, gardaí in the Bray district seized approximately 2,000 fireworks yesterday evening following a traffic stop and follow up searches.

“Please be aware that a lot of these fireworks are not manufactured to any safety standards and as a result can be very dangerous.”

People, including many fed-up animal lovers, have reacted to post and praised gardaí for their actions.

“Well done! A lot of us pet-owners and indeed our older members of the community will thank you,” one person has written.

“That's only a fraction of what is already out there. Bangers have been going off for the past three weeks. My two dogs get very frightened,” added another.

“Well done…need these throughout the country every couple of days. Keep it up. There was plenty of guards on the roads during the virus," said another.

“There's terrified animals thanking you everywhere,” said one other person while, another agreed: “Good news. Haven't had a decent evening walk with my dogs in the Ballywaltrim playing pitches since August.”

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Just last week, gardaí in Tipperary made a significant seizure of illegal fireworks worth a whopping €1,000.

Officers from Clonmel Garda Station discovered the explosives during a search in the Oldbridge area.

During the course of the search a large amount of fireworks, valued at approximately €1,000, were seized.

“Gardaí are reminding the public that these items are illegal and dangerous,” they posted on the An Garda Síochána Tipperary Facebook page.

“Gardaí are continuing to target the sale and supply of fireworks and to address anti-social behaviour in our communities as part of Operation Tombola. Let’s all work together to have a safe and fun Halloween!”

People have reacted in favour of the initiative with one person responding: “Hopefully more of this and patrols in the local community. Two hours of fireworks going off in our estate. Called the gardai twice finally came two hours later when lads got off with fireworks in their backpacks. So dangerous for young children playing in the estate.”

Dublin Fire Brigade, gardaí, the ISPCA and the Minister for Justice recently issued a joint warning about the dangers of using fireworks this Halloween and urged people not to buy or sell them.

Speaking at an event at the Dublin Fire Brigade Training Centre, Minister Heather Humphreys said significant penalties of fines of up to €10,000 or up to five years in prison can be imposed on those selling or using illegal fireworks if convicted.

Chief Fire Officer in Dublin City Council Dennis Keeley said colleagues have seen first-hand the catastrophic consequences and long-lasting devastation fireworks can have.

He strongly advised people not to use them for their own safety and the safety of the community.

The minister also said a media campaign highlighting the dangers would take place on local radio stations in the capital, as well as across social media and Spotify.

Ms Humphreys also said: "Our grandparents, elderly friends and those with sensory issues have faced a particularly difficult time over the last 18 months. Fireworks going off in proximity to their homes causes unnecessary additional distress."

Gardaí say 'Operation Tombola', which is designed to prevent and detect the sale and supply of fireworks, began last month in response to concerns and will continue up to October 31.

They have also said they will be deploying the Divisional Public Order Units on Halloween night and that social media will be monitored for any information regarding anti-social behaviour and the use of fireworks

Legislation came into effect in 2006, which made it an offence to possess a firework with intent to sell or supply, without a licence; light unlicenced fireworks; throw or direct a lit firework at any person or property.

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