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Dublin: 13 °C Friday 16 November, 2018
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Cars driven onto bonfires and firework injuries: Dublin Fire Brigade received 900 calls last night

A full fleet of over 100 firefighters were out to cope with the callouts on one of the busiest night of the year.

dublin fire map The fire brigade's updated list of callouts from last night Source: Dublin Fire Brigade

DUBLIN FIRE BRIGADE said its regional control centre received around 900 calls last night, as emergency services around the country dealt with another very busy Halloween.

There was a full fleet of 21 fire engines and 137 firefighters deployed to deal with the large number of callouts in the capital last night, as services dealt with more than one call a minute at peak times last night.

Greg O’Dwyer, acting assistant chief officer with the fire brigade, told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland that the experience last night was “on par” with Halloween nights of the past few years. 

“We had 368 Halloween bonfire-related calls,” he said. “There were 365 ambulance calls as well, a number of which would have been Halloween-related injuries.”

He said that many of the callouts would relate to illegal bonfires and anti-social behaviour. 

O’Dwyer said: “Unfortunately there were a number of serious injuries from fireworks to people’s hands and eyes.”

The fire officer did praise the work of local authorities to remove stockpiles of wood laid aside for illegal bonfires in many areas, and said that the situation could have been far worse if this work wasn’t done. He said that the number of injuries and incidences of anti-social behaviour had also declined in recent years.

“I can’t stress how positive the organised events are at creating an environment for children to go to and have a fun, safe evening,” he said. 

An online site shows the callouts and what the incident related to, with one detailing a car being driven onto a bonfire in one area. 

O’Dwyer added: “The big danger with the illegal bonfires is what people throw onto them. There’s no safe distance to be standing close to these fires.”

There were also reports of emergency services in other cities and towns across the country responding to incidences of illegal bonfires, but there were no major incidents. 

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Sean Murray

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