Limerick firefighters called to hoax drowning, also attacked with stones during May Eve celebrations

By David Raleigh

Firefighters in Limerick have come under attack from youths while putting out bonfires that were lit as part of traditional May Eve celebrations.

They also responded to a hoax alert of a woman drowning in the River Shannon which flows through the city.

Limerick City Fire Service have been called out to about a dozen fires.

A reliable source said a number of youths threw stones at fire crews as they put out a bonfire in Crecora Avenue, Ballinacurra Weston.

A fire truck was hit “several times” by the missiles, the source said.

There were no injuries and no major damage was caused.

While the majority of bonfires were “monitored and properly supervised”, fire crews extinguished one due to safety concerns.

Hoax 999 calls

Firefighters also responded to a “hoax” alert tonight of a woman drowning in the River Shannon in Limerick.

The 999 call was received by the Munster Regional Fire Control centre at 6.50pm.

The caller stated a woman had entered the river at Thomond Bridge.

Emergency services including Swift Water Rescue personnel attached to the fire service attended the scene.

The call was deemed to be a hoax.

On April 15 last another hoax call was made about a person having entered the river near Thomond Bridge.

The call sparked anger among emergency first responders who warned at the time that someone who really needed their expertise could die if they callus not reach them if they were diverted to a fake call.

A source in the emergency services added: “It's a disgrace, and it’s annoying in the sense that you can be diverted from a real call.

I hope it doesn't mean that one day we’ll be diverted to a hoax call and someone who actually needs us goes under the water and drowns.

Gardai have been trying to trace the calls.

“The problem is we are also putting our lives at risk by going onto the river responding to these hoax calls.

"We still have to give it everything, just in case. We treat every call the same,” the source said.

These hoax calls are becoming too frequent.

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