Garden shed and toilet among items on Limerick City bonfire

The aftermath of one of the May Eve bonfires in the Garryowen area.

A GARDEN shed and toilet were among the items thrown on to a May Eve bonfire in Garryowen, councillors were told this week.

Labour Party councillor Conor Sheehan proposed at this Monday’s Metropolitan District meeting that the Council organises an awareness campaign on the burning of hazardous material/illegal waste at bonfires.

Cllr Sheehan deemed it “disgraceful” that household rubbish and white goods were among other items dumped at the Garryowen bonfire site on May Eve.

“The green area in Garryowen was destroyed,” he insisted.

“A garden shed was dismantled and brought out to be burned. White goods and a toilet were brought out. This is illegal and the clean up comes with a significant cost to the council.

Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter

“These people need to be prosecuted.”

Sinn Féin councillor Tom Collopy said he wholeheartedly supported Cllr Sheehan’s motion.

“Polystrene sheets 6×3 in size were thrown on the bonfire. A guy was seen at two o’clock in the morning pushing a wheelbarrow down to the bonfire site,” Cllr Collopy commented.

“The day after the fire there was bags of bottles and cans — 50 to 60 bottles and cans.”

Fine Gael councillor Sarah Kiely took the view that if a task force had to be sent to bonfire sites to remove hazardous items in advance of being set alight, then they should be given Garda escort if required.

Director of Services Kieran Lehane agreed that prevention was better than cure. He told council members that he had visited the bonfire site and was surprised to see that fires had also been set along the new pathway.

In response to Cllr Sheehan’s motion, Environmental Awareness Officer Sinead McDonnell said that the Council will undertake an awareness campaign in relation to illegal bonfires.

“The most suitable time for this would be in the run up to May Eve and Halloween. The Council will also investigate doing a collaborative campaign with the Fire Service and the Gardaí,” Ms McDonnell added.