The “Stop Mountain Scramblers” action group say that Illegal scramblers and recreational quad users causing damage in the Cooleys and Ring of Gullion can expect to have the spotlight of publicity turned on them on both sides of the border.
Following up on discussions with Gardai at a public meeting in the Carrickdale Hotel, the chairman of the action group “Stop Mountain Scramblers” Matthew McGreehan met with PSNI officers in Newry along with committee member Cllr Michael Larkin.
“This was a very useful meeting, not least because it was facilitated by the Community Restorative Justice Group who have great experience in handling problems like this,” said Mr McGreehan. “They are aware of the problem and indeed were able to confirm our own ideas on where some of the main groups of scramblers are coming from.”
The next stage will be an appeal to their families and communities by means of a leaflet to be distributed on both sides of the border.
“The PSNI clearly share the concerns of An Garda Siochana with regard to the dangerous behaviour of these young men,” said Mr McGreehan. “They were very clear that off-road use of scramblers and recreational quads is just as illegal on the Ring of Gullion as in the Cooleys, and on-road use is in breach of road traffic laws, and vehicles can and will be seized.”
Mairead McGuinness has said urgent action is needed to address damage being done to special areas of conservation in the Cooley Mountains by quads and scramblers.
One of the proposals is to target this activity with special patrols of the region to catch those involved and to demonstrate through the courts that this is unacceptable behaviour, as well as being an illegal activity.