In Ireland it is illegal to possess fireworks (other than very low hazard fireworks such as small sparklers and party poppers) without a licence. Regulations came into law in 2006, which make it an offence to:
- Possess a firework with intent to sell or supply, without a licence
- Light unlicensed fireworks
- Throw or direct a lit firework at any person or property
Apart from being illegal, unlicensed fireworks may also be of dubious quality, as they may not comply with manufacturing quality standards and classification requirements.
Very low hazard fireworks (i.e. what's called Category 1 fireworks) are typically designed for indoor use. Examples include small sparklers and party poppers etc.
Although one does not need a licence to purchase these, their use should always be supervised by adults and they should not be given to small children. Sparklers can cause burns and party poppers cause eye injuries if not used in accordance with manufacturers instructions.
Retailers / wholesalers should also be aware of importation and storage requirements that apply in respect of Category 1 fireworks - see below for more information.
Laws came into effect in 2006 which give the Gardaí the power to make arrests in relation to possession of unlicensed fireworks.
The penalties for offences are very severe - a fine of up to €10,000 and/or five years' imprisonment for possession of unlicensed fireworks with intent to sell or supply.
In Ireland, only very low hazard fireworks can be sold directly to consumers. As mentioned, examples include small sparklers and party poppers (Category 1 fireworks).
Rockets, shells, roman candles, bangers, etc are not low hazard fireworks and are prohibited without an appropriate licence.
Licences are only issued for organised events, such as the Dublin Skyfest celebrations, which are undertaken by technically competent professional operators. Therefore licensed fireworks cannot be sold directly to consumers.
Simply having fireworks in your possession (other than Category 1 fireworks) without a licence is liable to a fine of up to €10,000.
Find out more
Read the Department of Justice’s General Guidance on Fireworks (PDF, 420 KB)
View the Department of Justice's guidance note for importers and distributors of Category 1 fireworks (PDF, 46KB)