A cross border policing unit is required to put an end to large meetings of drivers partaking in drifting in areas north and south of the border in Louth, according to local Sinn Féin councillor Antoin Watters.
It is estimated that over 100 vehicles had gathered in Carrickarnon – right on the border with Northern Ireland – on Thursday evening, continuing an escalation of such activity in recent weeks. According to Watters, the matter has become “ridiculous.”
“This issue has been on-going for quite some time now but it has seriously escalated over the past number of weeks,” he said. “Last night (Thursday, July 30) at Carrickarnon was just ridiculous with the excessive noise, cars driven at high speed and drifting.
Drifting is a driving technique where the driver intentionally oversteers, with loss of traction, while maintaining control through the entirety of a corner. Drifting, while gaining prominence across the world, is considered highly dangerous since there is little control available during the turns which can result in crashes or the vehicle flipping altogether.
The councillor, who resides in Cooley, believes it is only a matter of time until tragedy strikes unless authorities can work together to action a resolution.
“This is a very dangerous practice and drifting obviously can result in crashes or the vehicle flipping over. There is very little control of the vehicle and with so many young people present watching, it is a tragedy waiting to happen – not to mention the public who happen to be driving through the area or the people living there.”
Cllr Watters and Ruairí Ó Murchú TD have made contact with the Garda Road Policing Unit in Louth and their party colleagues in the north Cllr Roisín Mulgrew and Liz Kimmons MLA – who joined Cllr Watters in Carrickarnon at the site in recent days – have been liaising with the PSNI.
“What we really need is resources for a joined up approach, a cross border unit to focus solely on this issue and resolve it once and for all,” he added. “Residents north and south have had enough of this activity. They are at their wits end. Make no mistake, this is anti-social behavior and a danger to pedestrians, householders and drivers alike.
“There is a meeting planned with residents of the area in the coming weeks and I really hope there isn’t a tragedy before that.” The meeting, between public representatives, the Gardai Roads Policing Unit and local residents will likely take place in the next week.