Gardaí inhave issued a warning about the lethal dangers of fireworks and promised a crackdown in the run-up to Halloween.
Chief Superintendent Barry McPolin urged parents to take responsibility for what their teenagers are doing and urged members of the public who are aware of fireworks being stockpiled or distributed over the coming weeks, to contact gardaí, who will respond.
“Fireworks are illegal. They are lethal weapons,” he said.
“And the dangers associated with fireworks can have huge life effects. We had an incident in this city in 2018 which had life-changing consequences for one young person.
“There will be a strong garda response to this issue, in particular through our community policing units, in the run-up to Halloween.”
He made his comments during an online meeting of the Cork City Joint Policing Committee after Sinn Féin Cllr Mick Nugent, who represents the city’s north west ward, and Sinn Féin Cork South Central TD Donnchada Ó Laoghaire both raised concerns about fireworks being set off in their communities recently.
In October 2018, a 14-year-old girl suffered extensive and life-changing injuries to her left hand and to her face when fireworks went off as she was handling them on Barrack Street, on the southside of the city.
The girl was with a number of friends at the time but luckily, there were uninjured but were treated for shock by paramedics.
Mr Nugent said fireworks are being set off in this community on an increasingly regular basis in recent nights. Mr Ó Laoghaire said he has seen a similar pattern in his community and that it has been emerging as more of a problem this year than in other years.
“For young people and young adults in particular, there is a lack of employment, a lack of social opportunities and sport is restricted and I would have fears that their frustration could boil over. I think as a city, we need to monitor this activity closely,” he said.
Chief Supt McPolin said gardaí will launch Operation Tombola soon to a bid to seize illegal fireworks, while at the same time warning the public of the dangers involved in handling and using them.