Féin’s Spokesperson on the Arts Sandra McLellan, TD, has expressed
disappointment at Minister Heather Humphries dismissal of her proposals that
the government might make Hallowe’en a safer and more enjoyable event by
learning from the way the Celts celebrated the Festival of Samhain.
Ministerial Questions I put forward a number of proposals to the Minister; that
her Department should look at how our ancestors celebrated the Feast of Samhain
in order to build on the many excellent festivals and family oriented events
that are held at Hallowe’en.
my own constituency in Youghal we have the Youghaloween Spooktacular, an event
that combines a range of activities that bring enjoyment to an entire community
and provide an economic boost for the town.
learning from our Celtic ancestors we can improve existing festivals further
and ensure Hallowe’en is a date in our calendar that is a time of celebration
is sadly the case that in many areas across this State, Hallowe’en is used as
an excuse for thuggish elements to participate in anti-social behaviour, with
old and vulnerable people being placed at particular risk.
my debate with Minister Humphries, I cited the example of bonfire beacons that
have proved very popular in towns and villages in County Down, where they are a
safer, more eco-friendly alternative to traditional bonfires.
dismissal of my suggestion that we learn from our past and her reluctance to
consider some of the initiatives that have proven successful in the North, on
the grounds that they would “dilute” the existing culture night, misses the
Minister Humphries is serious about ensuring a safe and enjoyable Hallowe’en
then her and her Department have a responsibility to ensure events constantly
evolve and one way of achieving this is to learn from how the Feast of Samhain
was celebrated in the past.”