Res­i­dents have ‘lost faith’ with au­thor­i­ties over how they handle bon­fires

Last year, 200 pal­lets were al­lowed to be burned

Drogheda Independent - - NEWS - By HUBERT MUR­PHY

A PLAN will be drawn up in the next few weeks in re­la­tion to how the scourge of Hal­loween will be tack­led this year.

But lo­cal coun­cil­lor Paul Bell feels it will be a case of ac­tion speak­ing louder than words af­ter in­ci­dents in the Rath­mullen/ Balls­grove and Finian’s Park ar­eas last year.

‘No plan was sup­plied to coun­cil­lors or the com­mu­nity last year. Res­i­dents have con­cerns over il­le­gal dump­ing and they are re­port­ing in­ci­dents,’ he stated.

He said at one stage, 200 pal­lets were dumped in the ravine be­tween Hil­lview and Rath­mullen. Gar­dai said they’d help with their re­moval with Louth County Coun­cil but the coun­cil then called off the plan, cit­ing health and safety. The pal­lets were sub­se­quently burned on the green. ‘It was a crim­i­nal act,’ he said.

He also said that ramps, bar­ri­ers and CCTV had been in­ves­ti­gated to stop joy rid­ing in the area but they hadn’t hap­pened. ‘Res­i­dents have lost faith,’ he claimed.

He also said peo­ple were im­pacted by scram­bler bikes on the green - ‘it’s like Mon­dello Park’ - he claimed, adding that gar­dai do re­spond but may have is­sues with the age of the in­di­vid­u­als.

‘Peo­ple want these is­sues ad­dressed as they feel they are not get­ting the at­ten­tion they de­serve.’

Cllr Oliver Tully sug­gested that, long term, the coun­cil should in­ves­ti­gate a com­mu­nity bon­fire, where a proper struc­ture and reg­u­la­tions are ap­plied. ‘ The burn­ing of waste is the big­gest prob­lem, tyres, fur­ni­ture and pal­lets,’ he said.

Cllr David Sau­rin said peo­ple have had enough and asked can the scram­bler bikes be con­fis­cated. ‘A tiny mi­nor­ity are hold­ing the ma­jor­ity to ran­som. How long do events have to go on be­fore the coun­cil take se­ri­ous ac­tion to evict these peo­ple.’

Chief Supt Christy Man­gan said that the bikes can be seized and he added that there was a re­spon­si­bil­ity on par­ents to know what their chil­dren were up to.

Supt An­drew Wat­ters felt that a plan for Hal­loween could be put to­gether, but it needed ev­ery­one’s in­volve­ment. ‘We want to be proac­tive on this, not re­ac­tive,’ he stated.

The pal­lets in the ravine last year

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