Controlled bonfire night a success, say gardaí

A NEW controlled approach to Cork’s traditional bonfire night celebrations has been hailed a success.

Gardaí reported a relatively trouble-free night, bar a number of incidents on the city’s northside. The fire service, which had a dedicated unit on duty to cope with the extra work, was called out to 120 fires in several suburbs.

But overall, the night passed off peacefully. The success was put down in part to Cork City Council’s decision to invest €24,000 promoting free family-orientated alcohol free events in specific areas of the city.

“These are very much led by local community organisations who have come together and taken the initiative to organise events in their own area with the support of the city council,” said event co-ordinator Trish Murphy.

A community bonfire took place in Mahon with face painting, sports and fire performers.

A controlled fire took place in Clashduv Park with sports, performances from Togher Children’s Theatre and Togher Pipe Band, a bouncy castle, as well as arts and crafts workshops.

Another controlled bonfire took place in the Kilmore Road Park area of Knocknaheeny featuring penalty shoot-outs and sports, children’s fancy dress competition and a bungee run.

A family fun day took place in Pophams Park, Farranree, with story-telling and acrobats.

Similar events took place in Mayfield, at the Blackpool Community Centre and the Glen Resource Centre.

However, the Green Party’s Chris O’Leary reiterated calls for a complete ban on bonfires.

The city is facing a hefty clean-up bill again this year. It cost €114,000 to clean up after the 2005 fires and €113,000 after the 2006 fires.

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