Don’t go out with a bang

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Derry’s hallowe’en carnival is famed throughout Europe as a colourful celebration of culture.

While thousands of people across the city - and further afield - look forward to Hallowe’en each year, for many others in Derry it is a nightmare, the arrival of which is heralded by bangs, explosions, and injuries caused by illegal and irresponsible use of fireworks.

From mid-September, the sound of bangers and fireworks can be heard in areas all over the city, and indeed in the city centre.

This is not harmless fun.

It is a serious problem which causes fear and anxiety for many in our community, particularly older people.

Illegal ‘bangers’ which serve no other purpose than to cause loud explosions, can terrify people and pets and make residents prisoners in their own homes.

Each year children, young people and animals are injured by fireworks. Already this year a number of young people and animals have been injured.

There is no doubt that while it is mainly young people who are using these illegal fireworks but they are being supplied by adults who are only concerned with profit.

They do not care about the fear they are causing or the danger they are posing.

What they are doing is criminal and should be treated as such.

Anyone with information on the sale of these potentially deadly fireworks should report it to the police before a child loses a hand, a beloved family pet is killed, or worse, someone is scared to death by loud bangs outside their home.