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Cllr Antoin Watters / ‘Not enough policing of off road vehicles in north Louth’

Cllr Antoin Watters
Cllr Antoin Watters raised the issue at the October meeting of Louth County Council.

Sinn Féin councillor Antoin Watters says he fears there is a problem with the enforcement of bylaws banning the use of scrambler bikes and quad bikes on mountain commonage in north Louth.

The local representative sought clarification whether An Garda Siochana or the the National Parks and Wildlife Service were responsible for policing the bylaws after a weekend which saw lots of activity on the Annaverna mountain.

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“There seems to be a problem with enforcing the bylaws,” he said during Monday’s Louth County Council meeting in Dundalk. “Is it the National Parks and Wildlife Service – the ranger – that needs to come in and deal with this? Is it the Gardai?”

Cllr Watters told the meeting there was “a significant amount of damage done on the mountain yesterday.” He said there were over 10 vehicles on the mountain on Sunday (October 18). “One person actually fell off a quad, which could have been a serious incident.”

Director of Services Joe McGuinness that in 2001, Louth County Council enacted mountain commonage bylaws aimed at addressing the misuse and over use of Off Road Vehicles on the Cooley Commonage lands, an area where the public has access by right.

He said the bylaws would be enforced by An Garda Siochana. “The laws are there, all the powers are there,” he said.

Cllr Watters added he, along with local residents, was seeking a meeting with local Gardai in north Louth to address the issue.

“There’s not really enough policing being done of the bylaws. Local residents are very concerned.”

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