THERE will be a heavy garda presence in the Finn Valley area tonight (Friday) in order to stop a repeat of last year’s Halloween madness.
One youth was arrested last year after fireworks were thrown at a garda patrol car and tyres were set ablaze on two bridges when scores of teenagers from all over east Donegal converged on the villages of Crossroads and Killygordon.
Speaking to the Donegal News this week, Inspector Goretti Sheridan said extra personnel are being drafted in and checkpoints will be set up on local roads in order to carry out vehicle searches.
“There will be extra Gardai on patrol in Castlefinn, Killygordon and Crossroads as well as Ballybofey and Stranorlar,” Inspector Sheridan warned.
“We will be stopping vehicles to search for illegal fireworks and other items and Gardai from Letterkenny Garda Station will providing back-up. There has been a history of trouble, caused by a small minority, in the area on Halloween night which we plan stamping out.”
According to local sources, youths were posting messages on Facebook and other social networking sites in order to arrange last year’s ‘event’ at The Cross.
One message stated that a bus was being organised to transport youths from Ballybofey.
Last week, Donegal County Council said it was aware that businesses may be supplying waste materials such as tyres and pallets to local communities to burn on bonfire night. They described this practice as “unacceptable”.
A council spokesperson also warned that fires are illegal and can cause serious damage to property, the environment and our health.
“Bonfires are illegal and very often are built close to houses and other property and can cause serious damage and injuries, particularly where the burning of highly combustible materials is taking place,” a council spokesperson said.
In the lead up to Halloween, the council is asking local communities not to provide materials for bonfires.
If you are aware of any location where materials are being stockpiled for bonfire night contact Donegal County Council at 074 91 53900 or report it online at www.donegalcoco.ie