Row over Council response to bonfire alertNovember 2, 2012 - 8:15am
BY CIARAN TIERNEY
City officials have been called upon to implement an action plan on Halloween in the future to ensure that hundreds of householders across the city are not left living in fear that major bonfires in their areas could impact on their homes each year.
Cllr Ollie Crowe (FF) said yesterday that he was taken aback by the “laissez faire” of city officials after they refused to take action when informed that two massive bonfires were being assembled in Corrib Park and Bohermore on Wednesday afternoon.
Cllr Crowe claimed that, had the officials responed, Gardaí and members of the Galway Fire Brigade would not have been called to the fires when they blazed out of control later on Wednesday night.
The Bohermore representative contacted the local authority after receiving 18 separate calls relating to the bonfires on Wednesday morning, but was taken aback by the response from senior officials when he contacted them at lunchtime.
He claimed that the Parks Department said it was a matter for the Environment Department at City Hall, and vice versa, when he made contact with them at 1.15pm.
“I spoke to the senior officials after residents at both locations told me they were in fear when they saw 10 or 11 foot high bonfires being constructed dangerously close to their homes,” said Cllr Crowe.
“Prevention is better than a cure, but in this case it seemed to me that there was no action plan in place to deal with it,” he told the Galway City Tribune.
“If we had dealt with this issue while the bonfires were being built, between 4pm and 6pm, then elderly people would not have spent Halloween night living in fear of damage to their homes.”
A spokesman for Galway Fire Brigade confirmed that a total of eight calls were received between 6.30pm and 10pm on Halloween night. Five of them related to bonfires.
For more on this story, see the Galway City Tribune.