Cork city fire service encountered 'unacceptable levels of abuse' on bonfire night

In three separate incidents, firefighters and gardaí were forced to withdraw from the scenes of bonfires, following anti-social behaviour
Cork city fire service encountered 'unacceptable levels of abuse' on bonfire night

Bonfires were lit across the city this evening on the Eve of St John. The fires were lit despite pleas from the Cork City Fire Brigade to stop the fires which sees multiple callouts placed on the night each year. Credit: Damian Coleman


A spokesperson for Cork City Fire Brigade said firefighters and gardaí responded on Thursday night to 65 call-outs to bonfires across the city, with some of those being repeat calls where fires had been re-set.

In three separate incidents, the spokesperson said, firefighters and gardaí were forced to withdraw from the scenes of bonfires, following anti-social behaviour.

The fire service spokesperson said firefighters and gardaí had encountered “unacceptable levels of abuse” during those incidents, but stressed that the majority of their interactions with the public had been good-humoured.

In addition to dealing with bonfires, Cork fire crews had a busy night, responding to two significant house fires, the first on Ringmahon Road on Thursday afternoon, and the second in Ballintemple in the early hours of Friday morning.

In the Ballintemple fire, firefighters rescued two women, one in what was described as “a semi-conscious state”, from what is understood to have started as a kitchen fire.

Both women were taken by ambulance to Cork University Hospital, where they were treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

City fire crews also responded to an oil tank on fire close to a house, and what was described as a minor road traffic collision.

Four crews from Cork City, and one from Mallow, were said by a fire service spokesperson to have spent the night keeping the fire at the former Sunset Ridge Hotel under control.

The spokesperson said the building’s roof had completely caved in, and the building’s structural steel had “completely failed” and the remains of the building were still smouldering.

It is understood that Cork City Council’s Fire and Building Control section will make a determination on whether the Sunset Ridge site is to be secured or whether the remains of the building are to be demolished.

Cork City councillor Damien Boylan, who lives in Blarney, said the proposed development of the Sunset Ridge site, which was placed on the Derelict Sites Register last October, is currently at the pre-planning stage of the planning process.

“Hopefully, we will soon have development on this site, so we won’t have a repetition of last night’s fire,” Cllr Boylan told The Echo.

“Unfortunately, you can’t legislate for gurriers, and they will always find a way to cause trouble,” he added.


Firefighters are continuing to deal with a blaze at the former Sunset Ridge hotel in Killeens this morning after a night which saw approximately 45 fires started across the city.

The blaze is under control but smoke is still billowing from the site. 

Cork City Fire Brigade Blue Watch crews are to be stood down at 9am for Green Watch who will start the clean up. 

Crews were called to the scene shortly before 7pm yesterday evening.

Four fire crews from the city were joined by a crew from Mallow.

The fire at the Sunset Ridge hotel
The fire at the Sunset Ridge hotel

Cork City Fire Brigade said it utilised its aerial ladder platform to spray water from above the flames.

In a social media post, the fire service said its focus was to keep the fire from spreading.

Fire crews said late last evening that the fire at the Sunset Ridge was “under control” but still burning.

The former hotel has suffered a number of fires over the years, including a significant blaze last summer, and was placed on the Derelict Sites Register last October.

Last night The Echo was told that the Sunset Ridge building was "pretty much gone" but continued to burn. 

A source said: "There's an estate behind it and those poor people will have suffered a lot of smoke."


It has not yet been determined what started the fire but the blaze came on a very busy night for emergency services. 

On Bonfire Night, fire crews dealt with approximately 45 fires across the city. 

Sources told The Echo that firefighters and gardaí were "forced to withdraw, following aggressive behaviour, in a number of areas".

There was a significant drop off in the number of fires started this year with a source saying activity was approximately 25% down on previous bonfire nights. 

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