A Tipperary landowner has appealed to the public not to release sky lanterns, often known as Chinese lanterns, because of the dangers they pose to livestock, crops and property.

Sky lanterns are increasingly being used at social occasions such as weddings and birthday parties.

They are typically constructed from oiled rice paper on a bamboo frame and contain a small candle or fuel cell composed of a waxy flammable material.


When lit, the flame heats the air inside the lantern, thus lowering its density, causing the lantern to rise into the air.

The sky lantern stays airborne while the flame is hot enough to adequately heat the air, and then the lantern floats back to the ground.

Clare Ryan from New Inn, Co Tipperary, said she discovered the remains of several sky lanterns on her land.

"About 20 lanterns were let off and floated towards Poulnamuca and Clonmel," she told the Irish Farmers Journal.

"I found one in the winter barley, but if they land in a field with a herd of cattle or field of horses or other animals, they are very dangerous.

"I reported it to the Garda station in Cahir, but farmers need to be aware of these things - they can do terrible damage."

Livestock fatalities have been linked to sky lanterns, as cattle and other animals can eat the small wires that are left behind.