17 Aug 2022

Garda chief suggests changing law in Laois to tackle sulky racing

Sulky racing

Sulky racing

The Laois Garda Chief is suggesting changing the law in Laois to end illegal sulky racing on roads.

Garda Chief Superintendent John Scanlan said this week that they are "constantly enforcing legislation" but suggests to Laois county councillors that the law needs updating.

"You brought in these bylaws in 2012, I respectfully suggest they need to be revisited. We are dealing with sulky races as we are alerted to them. They are thing that are planned to pop up. We have had operations around the M7 and off the M7. The come from all parts of the country.

"We are liaising with colleagues in Carlow, there is an acute issue at the moment and we are enforcing the law," he said. 

He spoke at the quarterly Joint Policing Committee meeting held on April 13, after he was quizzed by a councillor on what the Gardaí are doing to solve the dangerous practice of unlicenced road racing of traps pulled by horses.

Cllr Aisling Moran raised the issue, which she has also raised at two recent council meetings.

"I've sent a letter to Minister McConalogue. What powers have you regarding sulky races and are you going to use them? On road traffic and child safety. Are you going to try to get to the bottom of this? It is happening across the country. There is a lot of irate people around here," she said.

Chief Supt Scanlan said people want to protect their wish to own horses, but agreed that child safety is a concern.

"I had contacts from other people over our attitude towards certain groups of people who may wish to have horses, but they come with responsibility. And responsibility to the road user. I do accept your observations regarding child safety. We use all elements of the law available to us.

"There is a small job of work for all of us to be doing around the bylaws," he said.

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