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Are Fireworks Banned in Ireland?

Fireworks are loved and enjoyed all around the world. But when it comes to firework laws and regulations, different countries can have quite different approach to fireworks. You might be surprised to hear that some countries ban public use of fireworks altogether!

irish flag

In fact, one of the countries with tight fireworks regulations is our neighbouring Ireland.

Illegal But in Use

Ireland is one of the rare countries in the world, which has a tough approach on firework regulations. In fact, together with Chile, the countries are the only two in the world to ban fireworks in a stringent manner.
Yet, you might well have travelled around Ireland and experienced people enjoying fireworks like there’s no tomorrow. This is because, although being illegal, the country’s legislation prior to 2006 was full of vagueness and there were no clear offences in place for possessing or detonating a firework.
Illegal sales were commonplace and the country had a huge black market for fireworks and related products. Unfortunately, the illegal market has created plenty of problems in the country. Whenever people buy illegal fireworks, the safety guarantees are not as stringent and you might end up with a faulty product. It’s never a good idea to risk your party with illegal products!

Tightening the Law

But in 2006, instead of looking to liberalise the fireworks laws and to create a more controlled environment for selling fireworks, the government decided to enforce tougher rules. The country continued on the road of keeping fireworks illegal and implemented tougher penalties for possession of fireworks.
Part 6 of the Criminal Justice Act 2006 made the following acts a criminal offence:

  • Igniting a firework in any public or, indeed, private area
  • Possessing fireworks with the intention of selling them forward or supplying them to others

Furthermore, if you are caught doing any of the above, you could be fined up to €2,500 (over £1,700) or even imprisoned for six months.

Allowing Some Fireworks

In 2010, the European Communities Regulations 2010 was implemented in Ireland, which somewhat loosened the country’s approach to fireworks. Under this ruling, category 1 fireworks, or the so-called low hazard fireworks, can be sold to people over the age of 16.
The category 1 fireworks are mainly designed for indoor use. They include fireworks such as toy guns and Christmas crackers.

Special Licences

If you are passionate about having fireworks at your party in Ireland, you aren’t completely doomed. The country does provide special licenses for setting off spectacular fireworks and there are professional fireworks operators in the country.
The good news is that if you are organising a party, then applying for the licensewon’t cost you anything. You just need to make sure you apply for it at least a month before your event. So, if you are organising a wedding in Ireland, for example, be aware of this!
Furthermore, despite the country having strict laws against the use of fireworks, you’re still likely to hear fireworks set off during major holidays. It seems the country’s crack down on fireworks is not yet as tough as the legislature implies.

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