The bonfire incident at Castlefen, Sallins, has focused attention of a lack of community facilities in the village.
Stones and fireworks were thrown at a Fire Service vehicle summoned to extinguish a Hallowe’en bonfire prompting criticism of those involved in the attack.
John McLoughlin of the chairman of the Castlefen community Group said that a bonfire normally takes place there every year.
“I normally supervise it but on this occasion I was at a childrens’ event and by the time I got there it was fully ablaze. More youths arrived and there was no adult supervision. It was the only bonfire in the area and people were attracted to it,” Mr. McLoughlin told the Leader.
He stressed that there are no serious public order issues within Castlefen.
“I’ve been here since 1997 and while there will be issues from time to time live anywhere else, the bonfire incident was a once off.”
Today there are some 162 residences in Castlefen. Twenty were built in 1997 followed by two tranches of 72; the most recent being completed 4 years ago.
He said a lot of work has taken place in Castlefen to enhance community spirit but more needs to be done in Sallins to provide community facilities.
He praised Kildare County Council for working towards providing facilities in Castlefen; notably a community centre.
“The centre is small but we feel fortunate to have something many other areas don’t have and I would thank Kildare County Council for this.”
But Mr. McLoughlin said a meeting place is needed in Sallins, similar to the parish centre in Newbridge.
“Sports facilities and a playground are necessary but is some kind of a venue for older people living in Sallins area,” he added.