Preparations and planned Community Activities
Communities across the North Inner City and indeed, throughout the city, are experiencing problems with the build-up of materials for unauthorized bonfires as well as the use of illegal fireworks. Every year this problem appears to get worse and the situation deteriorate much earlier.
Therefore, this year, in my role as Chair of the Dublin Central Area Committee of Dublin City Council, I have arranged for a comprehensive report to be presented to the October meeting of the Committee detailing local plans to address the challenges associated with Halloween in addition to confirming the planned community activities in the run-up to Halloween itself.
HALLOWEEN 2021 – Overview of Central Area Plans
Central Area Offices (North Inner City and Cabra/Glasnevin) have had a Halloween Working Group in place for several weeks with representatives of Public Domain, Community Development and Housing Departments; and representatives of An Garda Siochána from Store St., Mountjoy and Bridewell Garda Stations.
The Working Group has three key objectives:
- To co-ordinate efforts to minimise anti-social behaviour associated with
Halloween; particularly in relation to prevention of bonfires
- To programme a series of Halloween themed Community activities and events
- To promote safety messaging and celebration of Halloween locally in a safe, family friendly environment.
There has been a marked reduction in levels of anti-social behaviour in recent years due to the model of combined efforts and it is hoped to build on this in 2021. There is some concern with the timing of the school mid-term break for a full week in the run up to Halloween and this will be borne in mind as planning progresses.
Responding to reports of Stockpiling of Bonfire Material
In addition to Dublin City Council’s citywide Waste Management arrangements (details to be published w/e 15th October) the Central Area Public Domain team will lead on co-ordination of local response to reports of bonfire materials. Reports of bonfire materials are being received by Central Area office since July and to date materials have been removed from approximately 40 locations. In line with previous years it is anticipated that volume of reports will increase in the coming weeks and the following response measures have been put in place:
- All reports, regardless of the source or communication channel, will be logged centrally via the Dublin City Council CRM system to facilitate a planned and co-ordinated response. Reports may be received from housing complexes, open spaces, laneways, private properties etc. All reports can be made directly by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel. 01 222 5302. Reports can also be logged directly via the citywide self-service portal http://www.dublincity247.ie.
- Materials will be removed by public domain crew during normal working hours Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
- Crews will be on weekend overtime duty 6 a.m. – 12 noon Sat. 23rd October – Monday 25th October (B/H) and Halloween weekend 30th and the morning of 31st October.
- Non-emergency reports will be risk assessed and assigned an order of priority.
- An Garda Siochána will provide back-up if required to facilitate confiscation of materials in potentially dangerous or conflict situations.
- Private plant hire will be engaged to supplement local resources if necessary and / or to provide and on-call out of hours service where it is deemed necessary by An Garda Siochána.
- In case of an Emergency relating to Halloween activity, i.e. where there is an immediate threat to life, reports should be made via Emergency Services 999 or 911.
- Community Gardaí are calling to various premises in the local area informing and reminding owners of their obligations regarding secure storage of pallets, tyres, and any other flammable material and to advise on elimination of any attraction or easy access to their premises. Shops and commercial premises are also being visited and reminded to keep their trolleys and pallet trucks secure.
- A schedule of drone flights have been authorised for the sole purpose of monitoring sites for stockpiling. This initiative has proved very effective in identifying some large scale storage spaces in recent years.
- Any anecdotal evidence of sources of bonfire materials will be investigated and liaison will be ongoing with alleged or known sources such as Dublin Port and the Markets area.
North East Inner City – The Big Scream Halloween Community Festival
Funded under the North East Inner City Initiative, The Big Scream Festival has
grown from a one night event in 2016 to a month long series of lead in community
engagement activities running from from 1st October with main events commencing
on Sunday 24th October in Mountjoy Sq. Park.
The Big Scream Festival is delivered under a Funding Agreement with Dublin City Community Co-op in partnership with the Central Area Office. The main attractions / events on Halloween weekend will take place in the grounds of O’Connells School and along the Royal Canal Greenway. Full details of the Festival Programme will be available on http://bigscream.ie/
in the coming week.
North West Inner City / Smithfield
Planning is underway within Central Area resources to programme a series of Halloween themed community activities and entertainment within City Council Housing complexes. These activities will aim to encourage community participation and engagement in a family friendly environment. Programming of these activities will mainly involve the Housing, Sport & Recreation and Community Development teams supplemented with external service providers subject to availability of funding.
Further information and details on these local events will be shared with members as soon as they are finalised.
The large scale public event ‘The Cauldron of Smithfield’ will not take place this year.
The Smithfield public event space comes within the remit of the city Events section (Culture, Recreation & Amenity Department). While the large scale public event cannot take place, plans are advancing for a novel interactive Halloween attraction to be installed in Smithfield Plaza from 29th – 31st October incl. Further details of this exciting project will be announced by Dublin City Council in the coming week.
The Community Officers will be proactively engaging with local communities to celebrate Halloween as follows:
Supply of treats via well-known responsible community group for Halloween parties in residential areas (approx. 15) St. Eithne Road, Drumcliffe Road, Darling Estate, Ardpatrick Road, Ashington Mews, Ashington Park, Priory Estate, Dorset Street Flats, Blessington Street, Synnott Place, Montpelier Park, Montpelier Gardens.
Other community events are being planned as follows:
- Cabra Halloween Festival. St. Finbarr’s GAA Club.
- Cabra Youth Services Festival.
- St. Oliver Plunketts’ Halloween Festival.
The Area Housing Manager will be in contact with residents of Montpelier Gardens and Dorset Street Flats to arrange activities and entertainment on the night of Halloween. All of these activities will involve in excess of 5,000 people engaged in positive celebratory activities providing diversion from other potentially dangerous activity and anti-social behavior.
Halloween Safety Promotional Campaign
In parallel to promotion of Halloween festivals and community events there will be a campaign to promote Safety at Halloween. The core messages will be:
- REPORT stockpiling of illegal Fireworks and Bonfire materials
- RESPECT Emergency Services and all frontline workers
- PROTECT Yourself, your neighbours, your pets and your environment
Safety Messaging will be rolled out via all communication channels and Councillors are requested to support this through your own channels. Physical banners will be installed at prominent locations throughout Central Area communities to ensure that every effort is made to appeal particularly to young people not to take part in anti-social behaviour.
The campaign will be supported by An Garda Siochána. A series of school visits are being arranged for Community Gardaí to promote responsible behaviour by giving talks about safety, fireworks, bonfires and prevention of damage to property and the environment.
As in previous years, the Central area post event reports and statistics with be provided to DCC HQ for amalgamation into overall comprehensive reporting on Halloween 2021 in due course.
Arbour Hill, Ballybough, Broadstone, Church Street, City Centre, Clonliffe Road, Constitution Hill, Drumcondra, Dublin City Council, East Wall, Fine Gael, Garda, Glasnevin, Grangegorman, Markets, Montpelier, North Circular Road, North Strand, North Wall, Phibsborough, Quays, Rathdown Road, Sean McDermott Street, Smithfield, Stoneybatter
Fine Gael Councillor - North Inner City
Leader, Fine Gael, Dublin City Council
Chair, Urban Form & Planning Strategic Policy Committee