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Gardai to recommence high visibility Carrickarnon patrols, says Cllr

Antoin Watters on Drifting
Sinn Fein councillor Antoin Watters has been speaking out about drifting in north Louth.

A meeting that had been scheduled to take place between An Garda Siochana, PSNI and local stakeholders to attempt to find a cross-border solution to the ongoing issue of boy racers and drifting in the north of the county had to be postponed this week, in line with Government restrictions on the number of people who could attend.

Sinn Féin councillor Antóin Watters, one of the organisers who had arranged the meeting, described the cancellation as ‘disappointing’ but is liaising with Gardai in relation to what can be done on the ground in the meantime.

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Late last month, Cllr Watters said that a cross border policing unit was required to put an end to the large meetings of drivers partaking in drifting in areas north and south of the border in Louth. The activity had escalated in recent weeks, over the summer months.

“We had a meeting arranged for Monday evening, August 24, but that has been put on hold for now. It was in response to a large gathering of these ant-social elements at Carrickarnon a few weeks ago. My colleagues in the north, Liz Kimmons MLA and Cllr Roisin Mulgrew and Ruairí Ó Murchú TD and I called for a cross-border solution and a joined up approach and in fairness, the Gardaí and the PSNI agree that this is the only way forward.”

“From the middle of last year until the outbreak of Covid, Louth Roads Policing Unit (RPU) have been targeting these boy racers. They have succeeded in preventing large scale gatherings in North Louth but unfortunately they recognise that their high visibility in the area has driven the gatherings north of the border,” he continued.

The local representative says that the gatherings have recommenced with the relaxation of the Covid-19 restrictions, with a particular increase in the Carrickarnon and Feede areas.

“[They have been] driving local residents mad with the excessive noise and dangerous activities. I am pleased to have it confirmed to me by the Gardaí that the high visibility tactic has been sanctioned again from this month until the end of the year.

“I appreciate that this is not an inexpensive operation, not to mention the manpower involved, but we have to get together as soon as Covid restrictions allow and come up with a cross-border approach. These people are using the border to their advantage but I would like to see a resolution to this without having to wait for a United Ireland for the residents to get some peace.”

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.

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