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Tuesday 2 September 2014

Boy racers cause chaos in tourist town of Killarney

Majella O'Sullivan

Published 05/05/2014 | 02:30

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Sam Moffett, right, and  James O'Reilly, overall winners, at the finish of the cartell.ie International Rally of the Lakes 2014 at The Gleneagle  Hotel, Killarney on Sunday. Organisers of the rally have disassociated themselves from some anti-social behaviour that took place in the town over the weekend. Picture: Eamonn Keogh (MacMonagle, Killarney)
Sam Moffett, right, and James O'Reilly, overall winners, at the finish of the Cartell.ie International Rally of the Lakes 2014 at The Gleneagle Hotel, Killarney on Sunday. Organisers of the rally have disassociated themselves from some anti-social behaviour that took place in the town over the weekend. Picture: Eamonn Keogh (MacMonagle, Killarney)

GARDA resources were stretched to their limits as they dealt with major disturbances by boy racers in a tourist town over the weekend.

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Killarney gardai dealt with a total of 50 incidents including 13 arrests and the seizure of 15 vehicles following reports of noise disturbances on the main Cork route where around 400 cars had converged.

A spokesperson said the arrests were mainly for public order offences and were under road traffic legislation, including dangerous driving and drink driving.

Those charged will be brought before the district court in the next two weeks.

"We had a large volume of boy racers on the Cork road between Killarney and Glenflesk and we had to deal with a huge volume of cars on Friday and again on Saturday night," the spokesperson said.

People living in the area notified gardai after they were disturbed by the sound of screeching tyres in the early hours of Saturday and Sunday mornings.

The disturbances coincided with the Cartell.ie Rally of the Lakes that was held in Killarney over the weekend.

However, organisers insisted that those that engage in anti-social behaviour are not welcome at their event and are not genuine rally fans.

This year the Rally of the Lakes celebrated its 35th anniversary and attracted up to 60,000 visitors to the town, including rally drivers and spectators from all over Europe and as far away as New York.

But over the last number of years the festival has been blighted by a marked increase in the number of arrests for public order and motoring offences.

"We're being tarred with the same brush – and it's simply not fair, as we don't tolerate any of that messing," spokes-man Sean Moriarty said.

"Anyone who has a genuine interest in the rally is out every morning from 6am and enjoying the various stages. For international drivers it's a very challenging course with magnificent scenery, and that's why they travel to take part in it."

Mr Moriarty added that the number of genuine rally fans it attracted to the town who stayed in the local hotels was a "fantastic early-season boost" for the tourist town.

Irish Independent

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