Cork firefighters face verbal and physical abuse when turning up at 'bushing' parties

Cork firefighters face verbal and physical abuse when turning up at 'bushing' parties

The Cork City Fire Brigade are called to several of these incidents, every weekend and regularly face verbal and physcial abuse.

Cork City Fire Brigade has said that verbal and physical abuse is a regular occurrence as they are called to deal with several ‘bushing’ incidents every weekend.

Third Officer with Red Watch, Martin Coughlan said there is an increase in small fires lit in secluded grassland type areas around the city which are ignited by small groups of people drinking cans.

The firefighter said that when they are called to put out these fires, they are often subjected to verbal and physical abuse, including having glass bottles thrown at them.

Mr Coughlan said that they get a lot of calls from people looking for these fires to be put out due to smoke and fumes that drift into nearby estates and homes.

“It’s a health and safety issue,” Mr Coughlan said. “Smoke comes from the fire and we often get calls from homes alerting us to the fire.”

The third officer said the issue is prevalent on the north and south side of the city.

“Sometimes we call the Gardaí to deal with the situation,” Mr Coughlan said.

According to Mr Coughlan, the fire brigade are called to several of these incidents, every weekend.

“It is becoming a bit of a problem. In Ballincollig, there is a trend of setting the benches on fire in the park. The benches are made of a special material, so it takes a bit of work to set them alight but when they are up in flames, you need more than a bucket of water to put them out.”

Mr Coughlan referred to other “gurrier behaviour” that is ongoing such as setting plastic swings alight and other playground facilities.

“Alcohol is cheap, you can buy it for very little and then they just rob a wheelie bin for heat and that’s it.”

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