A file image of sky lanterns (Credit: Pixabay)
The County Kildare Fire Service says it supports a ban on the releasing of sky lanterns in Naas.
The service says it would welcome any actions that the local authority can take to implement “to prevent the mass release of lanterns containing a naked flame.”
Kildare County County was responding to a call from Naas councillor Sorcha O’Neill for the lanterns should be banned from the Naas area.
The lanterns, also known as Chinese lanterns, have traditionally been made for centuries to be launched for play or as part of festivities.
Chief Fire Officer Celina Barrett said there are currently no specific restrictions or guidelines at a national level - apart from event licensing requirements. And there may be issues relating to litter, fire service and animal welfare resulting from these events.
“The releasing of lit lanterns and balloons into the air causes significant damage and sometimes fatal to wildlife, habitats, protected structures and can cause other fires. Releasing lanterns and balloons that are made of non biodegradable material is environmentally irresponsible and is essentially rubbishing our landscape indiscriminately,” said Cllr O’Neill.
She tabled a motion at a Naas Municipal District meeting yesterday.