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Control of Fireworks

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Control of Fireworks

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Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter)

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Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter)

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Alan Shatter

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Snippet Contents:

I would like to assure the Deputy that Ireland’s laws governing fireworks are already particularly robust. My Department has always been conscious of the dangers which fireworks can present, and following full consultation with various interested parties, a number of amendments to the legislation were included in the Criminal Justice Act 2006. These amendments provided for new offences governing the misuse of fireworks and created an offence for the possession of illegally imported fireworks with intent to sell or supply. The amendments also provided for significantly increased penalties governing the illegal possession and use of fireworks including making it an offence to throw an ignited firework at any person or property or to light unlicensed fireworks in a public place.
Unfortunately there will always be some unscrupulous trader who will source such fireworks from outside the State and attempt to sell them on. I can however assure the Deputy that the Garda authorities take many pro-active steps each year in the area of prevention and enforcement by putting specific provisions in place in the lead up to Halloween. Attention is paid, in particular, in the border Divisions and in the Dublin Metropolitan Region to prevent and detect the organised importation for sale of illegal fireworks. Since 2006, An Garda Síochána have additional powers to conduct searches of people and vehicles suspected of carrying illegal fireworks with intent to sell or supply. If the Gardaí suspect that an offence of sale or supply of illegal fireworks has been committed by a person, they may arrest that person without a warrant. As I have already mentioned, the penalties for such offences have been significantly increased and fines of up to €10,000 or five years imprisonment or both may be imposed.
The Deputy may be interested to note that on Friday 25 October 2013, I issued a press release about the dangers of illegal fireworks and the penalties associated with their misuse. I also drew the public's attention to the fact that each year, as Halloween approaches, my Department runs a public information campaign in the print media highlighting both the public safety aspect as well as the illegality of using fireworks. Whereas my Department and the Garda Authorities will continue to do everything possible to prevent the misuse of fireworks, it is incumbent on all of us to play our part in ensuring that we can all enjoy the festivities of Halloween in a safe environment.