Law abiding ‘boy racers’

Gardaí have reported no problems with young people who are congregating in O’Connell Square.

Gardaí have reported no problems with young people who are congregating in O’Connell Square.

The Garda traffic corps were sent to Mountmellick for a number of nights, after locals reported speeding, noise, and intimidation by youths parking in the square.

Inspt Martin Harrington told councillors at last Thursday’s JPC meeting that all the cars were all properly taxed and insured, with NCTs and licences in order.

“Most of their cars are better than some adults’ cars. There was one incident when I went into the square, after a local man told me ‘they are up there now’. There were two young lads standing having a chat. I went back to that man and he said ‘I didn’t say they were doing anything wrong’,” Inspt Harrington said.

“I have not witnessed any speeding, and nothing has come to my notice. If we come across anything we will deal with it,” he said.

Cllr Ollie Payne asked if they had spoken to residents of the square.

“They said they were being tormented, with noise, football and general misconduct,” he said.

Sgt Ingrid Moore replied that they had given “a lot of attention” to stopping and questioning the young drivers.

“In fairness, they are usually sitting having a chat, they are not in breach of the road traffic act,” she said.

Chief Supt John Scanlon said older people get nervous when they see young people congregating.

“Their cars are probably the best turned out cars from a legal perspective, because they are being stopped every time they turn a corner, we even received a complaint of harrassment. There has to be a balance between public feeling and their behaviour. We need people to come forward and report any incidents,” he said.

Cllr Marc Connolly said the square had “quietened down in the last six weeks”.

“I am sure the local guards will tell you what was happening in the spring and summer,” he said.