In the South Dublin County Council area, there were 180 bonfires recorded in 2021, local representative Cllr. Charlie O’Connor enquired on the current situation in regards to clean up and an overall review of the Halloween season “To ask the Chief Executive to present a report on his review of the recent Halloween Season; will he give details of the costs involved in dealing with the challenges and also state what progress is being made in repairing Open Spaces damaged by Bonfires?”
The Council provided the following reply “The clean up of bonfire sites was completed in November, landscape reinstatement at sites where this is required will not take place until Spring 2022 as ground conditions are not suitable at present. The cost information given below does not include reinstatement costs which are not known as yet.
A total of 180 bonfire sites have been recorded around the County in 2021 and this is a substantial reduction from the 280 sites recorded in 2020. There appears to be a number of factors to which the reduction can be attributed and these include the vigilance and efforts taken by local residents to prevent bonfires in their areas. The Council held meetings with Kilnamanagh Neighbourhood Watch as well as residents from Aylesbury and Tymon North this year in advance of Halloween to coordinate the efforts of the residents, the Council and the Gardai in identifying and removing material stockpiles and minimising the impact of bonfires on those areas. A meeting was also held with Clondalkin area elected members on the same matter. The pre-Halloween collections of the Council show an increase from 2020 in materials intercepted before Halloween with Council crews out collecting material on 13 of the 14 days prior to Halloween. It is also quite likely that the weather helped to reduce the number of bonfires held this year also.
The tonnage collected before Halloween in 2020 was 237 tonnes however this has increased to 332 tonnes in 2021. Public Realm crews collected 70 tonnes of bonfire material on Halloween weekend itself and 33 tonnes of material on the bank holiday weekend prior to Halloween. The tonnage removed from bonfire sites after Halloween has reduced which is consistent with the number of fires held, this figure was 355 tonnes in 2020 and this has decreased to 276 in 2021. The overall tonnage has increased slightly from 592 tonnes in 2020 to 608 tonnes in 2021. The overall cost shows a slight increase also however the final figure is estimated at present.”
A comparison of statistics for 2020 and 2021 is set out below.
|Number of bonfires||180||280|
|Tonnage collected before Halloween||332||237|
|Tonnage collected after Halloween||276||355|
|Total tonnage collected||608||592|
|Total costs||€155,000 (estimated)||€150,000|