The Government’s decision to oppose a fireworks safety motion has been described as a “kick in the teeth” for communities, says Sinn Fein TD for Dublin Mid-West, Mark Ward.
The motion was tabled by Deputy Ward in the Dail last week in response to the rise of illegal fireworks being set off on the run up to Halloween.
“I am disappointed but not surprised that the Government Parties did not support the Sinn Féin motion I tabled on Community Safety and Fireworks.
“This decision by Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party is a kick in the teeth for the communities they say they represent,” he said.
“Since as early as June this year, our communities have been under attack by a nightly bombardment of fireworks.”
Deputy Ward says he has been “inundated with calls from people in my own area who are experiencing high levels of stress and fear in their homes due to the earlier than normal use of fireworks, increased anti-social behaviour and criminal activity.”
The motion proposed the re-introduction of community policing after 7pm, which was cut back in March by Garda Commissioner Drew Harris.
“This left our communities feeling abandoned,” says Deputy Ward.
“Fireworks are only a symptom of bigger systematic problems on how our areas are policed.
“Community Gardai are not the heavy hand of the law. They are meant to build relationships within our communities and be visible in our areas.
“There is no visibility after 7pm. This needs to be reversed immediately and Community Gardaí numbers brought back to 2010 levels,” he says.