Cross-border effort helps ease anti-social car events

THERE has been a reduction in the anti-social car events that had been plaguing residents along the Fermanagh border, thanks to the increased north-south cooperation.
Last year the Herald reported how the ‘diffing and drifting’ events were regularly attracting hundreds and spectators and drivers from across the country on weekend nights along the A3/N54 at Rabbit’s Island in Drummully, on the Monaghan border.
The illegal events, which are believed to have been pre-organised online, were blocking the road and were both dangerous for those taking part and disruptive for those living in the area.
Two local representatives, Cllr Thomas O’Reilly in Newtownbutler and Cllr Pat Treanor in Clones, have been working with both the PSNI and An Garda Siochána to help tackle the situation.
While councillors are both still cautious about declaring the problem solved, they have told the ‘Herald significant progress has been made in reducing the events.
Cllr O’Reilly, pictured right, said there had been more cooperation between both police forces on the matter.
“Both of them are more proactive in trying to find out when it’s happening and target it,” he said. “It was an absolute torture for about ten years, that’s how long it was going on.
“It was drawing very organised and well prepared crowds. People were coming with their 4x4s with their cars on their trailers. They would meet up in car parks in Cavan and Monaghan and then they would all drive up to it.”
Cllr O’Reilly said it was a situation both police officers would have to monitor, but said the progress was a good example of cross-border cooperation, pointing to the ongoing work carried out by the Blackwater Ballybay Clones Erne East Partnership.
“Obviously these people involved in it don’t appreciate the border one way or another,” he said. “They think it may be more difficult to police because it’s on the extremity of both jurisdictions.”
Cllr Treanor said he is in regular contact with the local Garda sergeant in Clones, who was happy with the current cooperation with the PSNI on the issue.
“So far it has worked out very positively,” he said. “In fairness to the citizens who live along there, they are entitled to as good a policing service as anywhere else.”
Cllr Treanor said in previous years both police forces had been “turning a blind eye” to the situation but now the cooperation was “great to see,” and was a good example to other border communities.
Regarding those taking part in the car events, who had been travelling from as far away as Mullingar, he said, “They didn’t realise the difficulty they were creating for the local community.
“I think seeing the policing operation there, they realised this is not on and this community doesn’t deserve to be treated in this way.”

To read more.. Subscribe to current edition

Receive quality journalism wherever you are, on any device. Keep up to date from the comfort of your own home with a digital subscription.
Any time | Any place | Anywhere


The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 28 Belmore Street, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, BT74 6AA