Gardai in Kilkenny have issued a warning to young people not to buy or play with fireworks in the run up to Halloween.
The warning comes in the wake of a seizure of a quantity of illegally held fireworks this week worth up to €350 from a local youth.
A spokesperson from Kilkenny Gardai said, “the fireworks were seized in a planned operation by the Gardai on Wednesday this week.
“We came upon a 16-year old male who was selling fireworks and bangers to minors in the carpark of St Mary’s Church in the city. He had a large quantity of fireworks and bangers in a gear bag and he was blatantly selling them to youngsters when we caught him in the act,” said the Garda spokesman.
“We can’t stress enough to young people and their parents that fire works are absolutely lethal in the hands of young people.
“Youngsters should also be aware of the fact that it is illegal to buy fireworks and if you do you will be dealt with by the Gardai and there will be consequences.”
The youth was released to his parents and will be dealt with by the Juvenile Diversion Scheme. He admitted the offence and expressed remorse and Gardai will continue to liaise with him and his family.
“We cannot warn youngsters enough to not get involved with fireworks. They are extremely dangerous and there have been horrific injuries incurred as a result of accidents with fireworks in the past. Animals also suffer greatly. They are very sensitive to the noise at the very least,” he added.
Chief fire officer at Kilkenny Fire Service, Ciaran Cormican, was also vocal in his disapproval of the use of fireworks by minors.
“Obviously fireworks are an explosive material, and can be very dangerous if not used properly.
“If fireworks are being used, we would urge people to read instructions, and make sure a responsible adult operates them in a safe and supervised environment,” he advised.
Mr Cormican added that the fire department’s main concern was usually around bonfires coming up to the Hallowe’en time of year and he warned young people not to be reckless with fires during the Hallowe’en season.
There are severe penalties to be incurred by those found to be in possession of fireworks following new legislation recently intorduced by the government, with hefty fines and even imprisonment now options for judges handing down the penalty