A motion has been passed within the Chamber of Clare County Council seeking that helium balloons and lanterns be banned.
At the January sitting of the local authority, Cllr Ian Lynch (IND) proposed “that Clare County Council request the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government to introduce legislation to outlaw the release of Chinese lanterns and helium balloons. If Government legislation is not forthcoming that the Minister permit Clare County Council to introduce bylaws to ban the release of same.”
Elaborating on his motion, the Kilrush representative highlighted that Chinese lanterns and helium balloons are often released at charity events, “You wouldn’t organise for 5000 people to throw rubbish on the ground or plastic into the sea”.
“It happens quite often with the best interests that people let these lanterns off but what if it leads to a hay barn burning”. He added, “There are tonnes of this stuff being released, what goes up must come down”.
Cllr Gerry Flynn (IND) seconded the motion, “I commend Cllr Lynch for having the courage to put it forward when people could perceive it as negative”. The Shannon Town resident equated the scenario with bonfires at Halloween which he reminded the meeting were illegal but that “a blind eye” is turned to them on occasion.