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  • News

COMMENT: Halloween hijacked by thugs

Monday, 6th November, 2017 7:59am

Story by Tony McCullagh
COMMENT: Halloween hijacked by thugs

08 new halloween.jpg

COMMENT: Halloween hijacked by thugs

08 new halloween.jpg

THE two times of the year that I dread the most are St Patrick’s Day and Halloween night.

The celebration of our patron saint is really just a national day of drinking, with genuine events too often hijacked by drunken thugs and marred by violent behaviour. 

Whatever about the case for opening the pubs on Good Friday, if you ask me there is a strong argument for keeping them closed on March 17.

Tourists who travel to Dublin for St Patrick’s Day must think they have landed on a different planet when they witness the drunken carry-on in the city centre. 

Similarly, Halloween has become an exercise in endurance. It’s great for the kids, of course, who love nothing more than to go trick or treating in their fancy dress costumes. 

I just about tolerate Halloween for the sake of my own children but if it wasn’t for them I would quite happily live without it.

Some parts of the city were under siege last week as the ‘festivities’ got underway. In one area, bus services had to be curtailed for safety reasons. Once again, there were reports of members of the emergency services being attacked as they attended to bonfires.

It was a particularly hectic night for Dublin Fire Brigade whose members worked tirelessly to contain illegal bonfires while also dealing with routine callouts. You can only imagine how much frontline emergency staff must dread being rostered for Halloween night.

Physical attacks on these workers should be viewed with extreme gravity by the courts and the introduction of minimum sentences for such crimes needs to be considered.

Despite the best efforts of local authorities in attempting to remove stockpiled bonfire material in the run up to Halloween, many scorched green spaces resembled the scenes of plane crashes the morning after. The sad part is that there were plenty of organised Halloween events for families to safely enjoy throughout the city. 

Unfortunately, there will always be a minority of people who thrive on causing terror and chaos under the guise of a festival. We need to come up with new ways to make it harder for them to succeed in ruining things for the rest of us.

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here