Gardai hunt Travellers after horse race on major road
Published 23/09/2010 | 05:00
GARDAI have launched a search for a gang that raced two horses and carts along a busy main road in a race that was then posted on YouTube.
The footage showed several four-wheel drives and vans behind the carts -- known as sulkies -- and their drivers on the N4 near Ballinacarrow, Co Sligo.
Gardai from Ballymote are studying footage of the video, which shows a convoy of vehicles belonging to the Traveller community spread over more than half the road behind the horses.
At least two vehicles drove on the other side of the road, against oncoming traffic, during the race between horses named 'Limerick Lady' and 'The Duck Filly'.
Traffic behind the race was held up for at least 10 minutes and vehicles travelling in the other direction were forced several times on to the hard shoulder.
The horses were running alongside each other for much of the race, but when one gained advantage and went a couple of lengths in front of the other, a driver and a passenger in one of the 4x4s could be seen sticking their heads out of the windows to cheer on the driver of the cart.
The race took place on June 26 but was only posted on YouTube earlier this month.
The section of road where the race occurred is a long and straight one. However, a few kilometres further on, it runs into an area where there have been several fatal accidents in recent years. At least 10 vehicles were behind the horses and the video camera was in front. The cameraman filming the race can be heard urging his driver to speed up.
A senior garda spokesman at Ballymote said: "We have a copy of the footage and are studying it.
"All the digits on the number plates are not readily discernible, but we are hoping to identify members of the party.
"It's a very busy road, the main one from Dublin to Sligo, and much serious delay was caused to other vehicles." He added: No doubt, the law was broken."
Last July, gardai seized two cars and interviewed a number of young drivers in Nenagh, Co Tipperary, after video footage of them driving dangerously along a country had been posted on YouTube.