Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Questions (287)

Eoin Ó Broin

Question:

287. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will consider strengthening the law to prevent the illegal or reckless use of fireworks and deal with the rise in the dangerous use of fireworks during the Halloween period. [44194/19]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

The law is clear on the use of fireworks in Ireland. Fireworks are regulated and can only be imported into Ireland under licence. Licences for the import of fireworks are issued by my Department only for the importation of fireworks which are to be used in organised displays conducted by professional and competent operators.

Under Part 6 of the Criminal Justice Act 2006:

- It is an offence for any person to possess a firework with intent to sell or supply, without a licence;

- It is an offence to throw an ignited firework at any person or property, and;

- It is an offence to light unlicensed fireworks in a public place.

Part 6 of the 2006 Act also gives An Garda Síochána the power to make arrests in relation to the possession of unlicensed fireworks.

The penalties for these offences are very severe. Having unlicensed fireworks in your possession with intent to sell or supply can result in a fine of up to €10,000 and up to five years imprisonment. Igniting the fireworks or throwing an ignited firework at a person or property is also liable to the same severe penalties.

Finally, I would point out that each year, as Halloween approaches, my Department runs an advertising campaign highlighting both the public safety aspects as well as the illegality of using fireworks. I launched the most recent campaign on 21 October 2019, in cooperation with An Garda Síochána and the Fire Service. The campaign ran in print and online media in the lead up to Halloween 2019.