Liz Kimmons MLA, Cllr Antóin Watters & Cllr Roisin Mulgrew (Newry)
Sinn Féin Councillor Antóin Watters has condemned the actions of those involved in serious anti-social behaviour at Carrickarnon, North Louth/South Armagh border. There was estimated to be over 100 cars gathered causing a serious issue for residents and passing traffic in the area.
Cllr Watters said “this issue has been on-going for quite some time now but it has seriously escalated over the past number of weeks. Last night 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).
“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.”
Councillor Watters has been working towards a resolution to this issue for some time and said “Ruairí Ó Murchú TD and I have been liaising with the Gardaí Road Policing Unit in Louth and our colleagues in the north Cllr Roisín Mulgrew and Liz Kimmons MLA 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.”
Cllr Watters said “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.”
Sinn Féin Councillor Antóin Watters has called for a cross border approach to deal with the on-going problem of ‘boy racers’ in the North Louth / South Armagh area.
Cllr Watters said “everyone has the right to go about their daily business without fear and this nuisance is causing fear. I have received numerous complaints from people in the community about this behavior which appears to be pre-planned events by the boy racers.”
Cllr Watters has been liaising closely with his Sinn Féin colleague in the north, Liz Kimmons who this week welcomed a commitment from the PSNI to tackle the scourge on the north side of the border. However, Cllr Watters feels that needs to be built on. “It is great that the PSNI have taken a pro-active approach in this but the reality is that when these people are stopped their racing in that area, they are going to just rearrange to race in North Louth so we need to have a joined up approach in dealing with the issue rather than allow it to move from one jurisdiction to the other.”
Cllr Watters has requested a joint meeting with An Garda Siochaná and the PSNI, together with Cllr Liz Kimmons and it is hoped several issues relating to these boy racers will be addressed.
“When these boy racers congregate there are a number of things that happen; the noise alone is very disruptive to residents in the area and as these are regular events it has the effect of making people nervous or afraid to leave their homes; the cars are causing an obstruction on the road and other motorists are being forced to try and manoeuver their way through them. I have received a complaint from a female driver in particular who was driving alone and felt very uncomfortable and was quite shaken as she arrived on the scene on her route home. That is not good enough.”
“This is anti-social behavior and an infringement on people just going about their daily business. This behavior is a danger to pedestrians, householders and drivers alike. We need to all work together to tackle this scourge before it escalates even further and ends up in tragedy.”