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Wednesday 21 November 2018

Clampdown on use of scramblers after spate of injuries

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Stock picture
Ryan Nugent

Ryan Nugent

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan is seeking advice from the Attorney General to clamp down on the misuse of scrambler bikes following a spate of dangerous incidents involving the motorcycles.

Mr Flanagan wants to regulate the bikes, has written to the AG, and is understood to be awaiting a response.

Scrambler and 'quad bike' use are banned in public parks by local bye-laws, but the minister's approach to the AG suggests he is looking to take a more strong-handed approach and introduce national legislation around the issue.

Earlier this month, the wife of a man critically injured in hospital described how her husband lost an eye after a scrambler landed on him while they were sitting in a park in Darndale during the summer.

Ilabek Avetian (39) also suffered a number of facial fractures along with a brain haemorrhage in the horrific incident.

He has been in a vegetative state at Beaumont Hospital ever since, with his wife questioning why nobody is answerable for his injuries.

A spokesperson for the minister said: "A cross-agency meeting was held by the Department of Justice and Equality (DJE) on April 25, 2018.

"On foot of this, DJE has written to the Office of the Attorney General to seek legal advice in relation to the development of a legislative approach."

The department has joined a taskforce including all Dublin local authorities.

In an attempt to combat the issue, South Dublin County Council has forked out €100,000 to construct fencing in a park in Tallaght.

"Public Realm works have been initiated at some locations in an attempt to combat the problem of scramblers and quads accessing parks and open spaces, for example approximately 800 metres of high railing has been erected around Butler McGee Park at Drumcairn Estate at an approximate cost of €100,000," the council said in response to a question from Tallaght councillor, Charlie O'Connor.

The council added that there have been requests for similar works in a number of other parks in the area, as the situation spirals out of control.

However, it warned that it will escalate to a level where they won't have the finances to fund the works.

Irish Independent

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