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Question

517. Deputy Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Justice the number of penalties including fines and terms of imprisonment that have been issued for the possession with intent to sell or supply illegal fireworks from 2015 to date; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [54010/21]

Answer

Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): Part 6 of the Criminal Justice Act 2006 gives An Garda Síochána the power to make arrests in relation to the possession of unlicensed fireworks.
Penalties faced include a fine of up to €10,000 and up to five years imprisonment if convicted of having fireworks in your possession with intent to sell or supply.
Igniting fireworks or throwing an ignited firework at a person or property is also liable to the same severe penalty. These penalties demonstrate the seriousness attached to breaches of the legislation governing the importation and use of fireworks.
In order to be of assistance to the Deputy I have contacted the Courts Service and have been provided with a report, detailed below, on the number of offences where a penalty was imposed in the District Court for the possession with intend to sell or supply illegal fireworks for the period 2015 to September 2021.

- 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Court Order Number of Offences Number of Offences Number of Offences Number of Offences Number of Offences Number of Offences Number of Offences
Community Service Order 5
Dismiss 1 1 1
Dismiss Probation Act 2 3 2
Fine 5 7 3 2 4 1 4
Imprisonment 1 1
Imprisonment suspended 1
Other 1 1 3 1 4
Poor Box 2 1 2 2
Probation Order 1
Send forward for trial 1 1 1
Strike out 2 3 1 2 4 3 4
Taken into consideration 1 2 1
Withdrawn 1 1 2
Total 14 12 12 12 11 12 19

The Deputy will also be aware that in addition to the provisions providing for the offence of possession with intent to sell or supply illegal fireworks, there are a number of strong legislative provisions available to Gardaí to combat anti-social behaviour more generally – such as –
- the Criminal Damage Act 1991;
- Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act 1994;
- the Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act 2003;
- the Intoxicating Liquor Acts 2003 and 2008.
However, it would not be possible to disaggregate the statistics for the use of those more general provisions if used to deal with firework misuse and related anti-social behaviour over the Halloween period from the other uses of those provisions.