A Halloween scare story: people are burning tyres

Thousands of old tyres are being confiscated from Halloween bonfires up and down the country.

Look, we’re really not trying to have a go at anyone here, but this feels like we’re about to state the obvious: burning tyres just isn’t right.

Apparently, in the build-up to Halloween – an ancient Irish tradition – local councils across the country are removing thousands of the things from the bonfires being constructed for the festivities. Incredibly, in the Dublin area alone, the city council says up to 300 tyres are being confiscated daily.

Now, Continental Tyres Ireland, in a show of civic responsibility, is reminding us all that while it’s fine to celebrate Halloween in the time-honoured way, perhaps incinerating toxic rubber is not the best way of going about it. Especially as it’s against the law to burn tyres.

Tom Dennigan, Continental’s general manager for Ireland, said: “We have heard reports of many thefts of tyres from tyre dealer premises and, in addition, we know that there are some unscrupulous tyre dealers who are giving old tyres out to youths who are collecting material for the traditional Halloween bonfire.

“We would strongly advise against burning tyres on a bonfire, for – aside from it being illegal – smoke from burning tyres carries toxins that are detrimental to both humans and animals. The residue from burnt tyres can also be very damaging to the environment. In fact, the only safe way to burn a tyre is in a concrete kiln which would have sophisticated filtration systems in place to neutralise any toxins.”

While it might have become fright night in recent decades, thanks to the import of the American ideal of October 31st, Halloween is actually an ancient Irish celebration of harvest time, involving children playing games and everyone enjoying a big bonfire. So, by all means, honour this rich heritage – but please, refrain from chucking old radials onto the blaze, OK?