Three times more illegal bonfires in 2020, say Dublin City Council

by Rachel Darcy

Dublin City Council (DCC) have asked for the public’s help in preventing illegal bonfires this Halloween, with almost three times as many already reported compared to the same time last year.

In the lead up to Halloween each year, DCC carries out dozens of stockpiling raids, removing bonfire material from all over the city.

In 2019, 400 tonnes of bonfire materials were removed ahead of Halloween. This year the council said that – despite the pandemic- they are continuing to identify and remove stockpiled material and divert it from burning on illegal bonfires.

Simon Brock, Waste Management Services, said: “Each year Dublin City Council removes tonnes of bonfire materials ahead of Halloween. This reduces the risk of serious injury to youngsters and damage to the environment, parks, green spaces and property in the city.

“In 2020 more than ever we need the public’s continued support to do this and we are calling on people to report stockpiling of bonfire material to us as soon as possible so we can remove it safely. We have received great assistance from the public in recent years and we ask people to assist us again in 2020 to prevent illegal bonfires in the city.”

Halloween is always a busy time for Dublin Fire Brigade and in the last six weeks, Firefighters have attended 163 bonfires which is almost three times as many as the same period last year, and have seen an increase of 64% in ‘nuisance’ fires.

Chief Fire Officer, Dennis Keeley said: “This year we have a seen a significant increase in bonfires, and smaller nuisance fires, on the run-up to Halloween. Stockpiling of bonfire material is often stored in locations that present a fire risk, which can result in damage to buildings and property if these stockpiles are set alight early.

“Dublin Fire Brigade are urging people to report stockpiles to their local authority so they can be removed”

In a statement, a DCC spokesperson said: “Unsupervised bonfires can contain many harmful and dangerous items such as tyres, household waste and gas cylinders.

“The destructive nature of bonfires often cause them to collapse causing both traumatic and burn injuries to those close by. Fireworks are frequently used alongside bonfires and these can cause life-altering injuries to the users or by-standers when they explode.”

People can report any stockpiled bonfire materials that they become aware of by:
Calling Dublin City Council’s Customer Services Centre (01) 222 2222 or after hours at 1800 293949, or online at

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