Thousands worth of damage caused after Halloween fire in west Dublin

by Sylvia Pownall

Communities in west Dublin are counting the cost of Halloween 2019 after a blaze caused thousands of euros of damage to a school and a pub went up in flames.

A fire started in the grounds of Ladyswell NS in Mulhuddart destroyed insulation and damaged scaffolding erected where part of a new school building is under construction.

The blaze was detected on Wednesday October 30 in the run up to Halloween night and fire fighters discovered a stockpile of pallets stashed on the grounds for a bonfire up in flames.

Cllr Paul Donnelly (SF) posted a video of the fire and tweeted: “Serious fire in Ladyswell national school.

“It appears that it’s the new building works that has gone up. I really hope this wasn’t a targeted attack.”

He urged people to report stockpiled bonfire material in the wake of the fire and asked that households stop the practice of putting stuff out for bonfires.

He added: “I’m just relieved that no damage was caused to the new school being built. We have waited years to have the new school started to replace the old prefabs.”

The fire was started adjacent to prefabs of the school but was quickly brought under control by the units of the fire brigade from Blanchardstown and Phibsboro.

Dublin Fire Brigade said they were called to 43 bonfires in the Dublin area in the 24 hours before Halloween – some were flaming stockpiles while others were described as pre-Halloween bonfires.

The emergency service responded to 230 incidents in the capital between 4pm and 6am over Halloween night itself.

On Friday emergency services rushed to the scene of a vacant pub in Mulhuddart village after a blaze broke out.

The alarm was raised at around 5pm as dark smoke billowed from the premises forcing pedestrians to move away from the building.

A Garda spokesperson said the scene had been preserved for forensic examination, adding that there were no injuries and enquiries are ongoing.

Fingal County Council described its four free organised Festival of Fire events in Balbriggan, Naul, Swords and Blanchardstown as a “terrifying triumph”.

The local authority also revealed that its four-day amnesty over the Halloween period was a huge success with over 4,000 vehicles visiting its Estuary Recycling Centre in Swords where 86 skips were filled along with 40 cages of small electrical waste and 35 crates of paint.

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