Ice cream vans' frosty reception

Alison Comyn

WHILE THE sunny weather is bliss for some, some Drogheda housing estates are suffering from an unusual plague as a consequence: a constant stream of ice cream vans!

'We currently have six vans, with music blaring, calling between 1.30pm and 9pm,' said one resident on the town's northside. 'It is very unfair on the parents and we have had enough of it.

'I know in some of the estates, the ice cream vans have been approached in a negative way. 99% of the estate would not agree with this behaviour but we certainly feel that it is very unfair to continuously be put in a position of telling our children "no".'

The mum thinks there should be a law regarding the amount of vans that can come to an estate. 'There are bans on the advertising of so many things, such as alcohol, sweets, cigarettes, and the like,' she adds. 'Why can ice cream vans go around with no rules except their tax?'

A second mum in the same estate says the noise and nagging is not the only annoyance. 'To add to the amount of them, there is also the speed they drive through the estate,' she says angrily.

'I live in a cul de sac and they fly right up to the corner reverse and drive back out at full speed.

Meath East TD Dominic Hannigan has received previous complaints in his Stamullen constituency, asking a parliamentary question on behalf of residents bothered by noise ice cream vans last year.

He says people might think it is frivilous, but it is a very real problem for people, especially those with young children late at night.

'It is up to the local authoities to come up with ways to regulate the issue, although a freindly approach to the vans by a residents association exxplaining the problems can often help,' he told the Drogheda Independent.

'It is an open market and people are entitled to run a business, but equally, residents are entitled to privacy and enjoy their home in peace and quiet.'

A spokesman for Louth County Council confirmed that there are no specific rules regarding ice cream vans. However, they can complain to the District Court via the EPA Act.

Drogheda Independent