Illegal firework peddlers ‘as bad as drug dealers’

Sean Collins, CRJ, with Tina Burke and Kevin Campbell from Triax NMT.
Sean Collins, CRJ, with Tina Burke and Kevin Campbell from Triax NMT.

Those selling and using illegal fireworks have been urged to give local people a break after incidents of people, homes, cars and even family pets being targeted in Derry.

Triax Development Worker Kevin Campbell made the call following a spate of incidents over recent days.

Members of the Triax Neighbourhood Management Team and Community Restorative Justice worker Sean Collins have now delivered a series of presentations on the dangers that fireworks pose to over 700 secondary school pupils right across the city.

Mr. Campbell said: “We have recently been inundated with complaints about fireworks.

“I know that co-ordinated efforts are taking place to provide residents with the peace they are entitled to and those responsible need to give people a break.

“In the last few weeks we have seen fireworks thrown at residents, at their homes, at pets and at passing motorists and it is only a matter of time before they cause serious injury.

“This is obviously on top of the enormous nuisance they are causing to local residents by being let off morning, noon and late into the night,” he added.

Mr Campbell said that it was vital that those selling fireworks illegally were also fully aware of the impact and potential repercussions their actions were having.

He said: “As well as highlighting the dangers of fireworks to young people in the Triax area I am calling on those who are selling them to stop now.

“They are dangerous, they are causing enormous misery and they are illegal.

“For the sake of a few pounds the people who are selling these fireworks are putting residents through hell and need to stop.”

Meanwhile one elderly resident of the Bogside, who declined to be named, said: “I think the people who are selling these fireworks are as bad as drug dealers.

“They don’t care about the problems they are causing. They just care about the money they’re making.

“It needs to stop now before someone gets badly hurt or some wee dog gets killed,” the resident added.

Sean Collins from Community Restorative Justice, who also attended the presentations in local schools, said: “I often wonder do the people selling these dangerous and illegal fireworks give them to their own children or throw them outside their own homes?

“Do they care about the mayhem they are creating or do they just care about the money?”