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Louth Gardai will prosecute illegal scrambler bike use, JPC forum hears

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An image of a biker on a scrambler bike.

Local Gardai say they will prosecute anyone found to not be in possession of a requisite license for quad bikes and scrambler bikes in county Louth, as local councillors have hit out at the scourge of what they claim is noise pollution and intimidation by persons on the vehicles.

Several instances of scrambler bike use on beaches such as Clogherhead and Port have been reported over the summer months, while there has been in increase of the use of the bikes in an anti-social manner in residential areas like Fatima in Dundalk and Rathmullan Park in Drogheda.

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Speaking last month, Independent councillor Declan Power said; “They create noise pollution, but they are also against the law.” His stance was backed up by Mayor of Drogheda Kevin Callan.

“It is out of hand at the minute – in residential areas and the beach,” he said. “There is a total disrespect for the law. It has previously been raised in Ballsgrove as well. They are ruining peoples lives. It’s absolutely disgraceful.”

Bringing the issue to the table at Monday’s Drogheda Joint Policing Committee meeting Cllr Power said, “It is very intimidating for those who use the beaches.”

Chief Superintendent for Louth Christy Mangan said that those persons on the bikes must have all necessary documents and licenses for the vehicles. “We will prosecute,” he said.

Chief Supt Mangan also confirmed that Gardai had taken scrambler bikes off persons in Rathmullan in Drogheda. On Tuesday, during the Dundalk JPC forum, Cathaoirleach of Dundalk Municipal District Emma Coffey asked whether there would be a benefit to the Gardai working with Louth County Council with a view to producing new bylaws to fight the problem.

In response, Dundalk Superintendent Gerry Curley said; “I could see some merit in that. They are a problem in towns and in the forestry areas as well.”

The council previously said they did not have the resources to police such actions as seen on the beaches and in estates in recent times.

In the run up to this year’s, General Election, former Fianna Fáil spokesperson for National Drug Policy and TD for Dublin Mid-West, John Curran said Fianna Fáil would implement legislation to allow Gardaí to compulsorily seize scrambler bikes and quads on suspicion of anti-social behaviour.

The party had previously introduced a bill on the matter in 2019. Mr Curran lost his seat in the election.

Scramblers and quad bikes are meant for off-road use and do not have a licence plate or tax disc. Those who ride them do not require a driver’s licence or insurance, unless they are driving them on a public road.

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