I know many people who use and buy fireworks each year, yet it almost feels wrong to report them.
For some reason, colourful harmful explosives are considered cool for young people. I have always been terrified of the dangers yet embarrassed to admit that in case I’d be deemed uncool. All they do is put extra stress on emergency services. If caught with the possession of fireworks, you can receive a €10,000 fine and/or up-to five years in prison.
The Criminal Justice act, 2006, section 68 states that “Any person who in any place ignites a firework or causes it to be ignited, or throws, directs or propels an ignited firework at or towards a person or property, is guilty of an offence.” Figures provided by the court service, show that only four people were convicted under this act last year. So far this year, 9 people have been found guilty.
It is worrying that convictions have risen so much within ten months of 2021, not even including Halloween or Christmas, where fireworks would be most used. Although I know so many people who use fireworks, I have never heard of anyone receiving prosecutions… which means many cases go unknown every year. I thought that BREXIT would have a bigger impact on the number of fireworks being distributed this year. With few imports, surely they would be harder to buy! Apparently, people will get them no matter what!
This year the Gardaí issue an alert on a new firework, named ‘mini-howitzer’, which they said is “potentially life-changing”. This firework is made in China and is adding to the life-changing injuries which happen each year. Currently, an average of 20 people ends up in hospital yearly.
Not only are there these major life-threatening dangers, but fireworks also cause major harm to the environment and the vulnerable.
For example, a dog’s hearing is four times more sensitive than a human’s. So not only do fireworks scare them, but the sound could be damaging to them. Dogs Trust has recommended trying to desensitise your dog from these noises. They have included loud sounds on their website, which have been clinically tested, and proven safe. By playing these sounds, your dog slowly gets accustomed to loud noises.
This makes me feel sick. The fact that these dogs need to become accustomed to such loud noises, just because some people think explosives are ‘cool’.
Many dogs purchased during the pandemic will be experiencing fireworks for the first time, so they must be kept inside on firework nights, but also microchipped as they may be tempted to run from sounds.
There should be more severe prosecutions for the use of fireworks. They are a threat to society. I think it’s important that we start picking up our phones and reporting firework outbreaks.