The 29th of June was traditionally known as Bonfire Night throughout Dundalk.
Every year massive fires would be lit all over town and O'Hanlon Park was no different. What is now called Ice House Hill Park was for years the site chosen for the local bonfire, for weeks leading to the 29th local youths would collect anything that would burn. Beds, settees, wardrobes and wooden pallets along with over a hundred tyres not counting the odd tree branch, were assembled to be lit on the night.
Each year estates would compete to see who would have the largest bonfire and O'Hanlon Park was always up there with the best. Local youths would be on guard to mind the materials especially the tyres as other areas would go on what was known as raids for tyres for their fire. Many a good story could be told about these raids but we will leave this for another time. The down side to these bonfires was the amount of rubbish that was left behind and many areas had to be cleaned by the local council, also the fire brigade would be out all night monitoring what they considered as dangerous fires.
Not unexpectedly the town councillors and local officials wanted an end to these bonfires. After considering their options the council set up what they called a Bonfire Aversion Fund which could be used by Resident Associations to arrange alternative events to replace the bonfires in their area. O'Hanlon Park/Hillview residents applied for funding in 2007 and from then on the bonfires were replaced by what is called the Annual Fun Day. As you can see from the following photographs this event gets bigger every year and continues to be a great success.