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Dangers of fireworks use highlighted with new campaign

People are being urged to think about what the unintended consequences of their actions might be.

A demonstration aimed to illustrate what happens when a firework explodes in someone's hand.
A demonstration aimed to illustrate what happens when a firework explodes in someone's hand.
Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

WITH HALLOWEEN FAST approaching the public are being reminded that fireworks are illegal and warned that using them can result in accidents that can have life changing effects.

Anti-social behaviour involving fireworks has been reported in parts of the country for several weeks.

Today, the Department of Justice, along with representatives from the gardaí, Dublin Fire Brigade and the Irish Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA), launched an awareness campaign to highlight the dangers that fireworks pose.

The campaign seeks to emphasise that fireworks are illegal because of the risks involved in using them and also because of the distress they can cause to people with sensory issues, the elderly and animals.

Speaking at the launch of the campaign, Minister for Justice Heather Humphreys noted the significant penalties that people can face for selling or using illegal fireworks.

Penalties imposed can be as high as €10,000 and/or up to 5 years in prison, if convicted.

“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,” Minister Humphreys said.

The launch also featured a demonstration from Dublin Fire Brigade which aimed to illustrate what happens when a firework explodes in someone’s hand.

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fw-2 A mannequin's hand exploded during the fireworks danger awareness demonstration. Source: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

Chief Fire Officer in Dublin City Council, Dennis Keeley, spoke about the injuries that fireworks can cause to people and fire fighters and urged people to think what the unintended consequences of their actions might be.

“We have seen first-hand the catastrophic consequences and long lasting devastation fireworks can have on people, I would strongly advise people not to use them for their own safety and the safety of the community,” Keeley said.

Because fireworks can also cause great harm and stress to family pets, this year’s campaign was launched in collaboration with the ISPCA.

ISPCA Chief Inspector Conor Dowling said: “We would ask those considering acquiring or using illegal fireworks to think about the impact it has on others – on the elderly and infirm, on our emergency services, and on our pets. And to ask themselves, is it really worth it?”

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Céimin Burke

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