A “Salthill Sundays” Facebook page led event saw hundreds of modified cars descend on Salthill village and the Blackbox theatre yesterday. The disgraceful behaviour of the participants caused major traffic delays and upset in the locality.
The anti-social behaviour included revving, back firing, making smoke and noise, blocking traffic free-flow, and driving a noisy convoy of cars through residential areas.
Salthill Sundays Facebook page description in its “About” section is:
Salthill Sunday’s is an opportunity for car enthusiasts to show of their cars. We do not recommend any banging,revving or messing of any sort.
Bring what you have, any style welcome.
Respect & support the local businesses.
However, the behaviour of the participants was in stark contrast to what is outlined in this brief description. The page seems to have been created on April 28th by a Stephen Coyle. Do you know who he is?
Any who thought it was just harmless fun, and I am sure many of them did, failed to consider other people. They showed no respect or consideration for the local community.
While anyone satisfying certain legal requirements, such as having a valid driving licence, tax, insurance, NCT and safe vehicle has a right to drive on our streets, this right is not unqualified.
They are not entitled to cause harm or distress to others.
They are not entitled to frighten little children with the noise.
They are not entitled to cause traffic disruption that causes people to be late for appointments, work or other activities.
They are not entitled to prevent the ambulance or other emergency services from doing their work.
They are not entitled to force patients to be airlifted because the ambulance can not get through on the road.
They are not entitled to hurl verbal abuse at people.
They are not entitled to throw litter out of the vehicles.
They are not entitled to breach the current restrictions on the size of public gatherings in place to protect the public from covid-19.
They are not entitled to interfere with peoples’ livelihoods.
What they effectively did yesterday was to invade Salthill, bring it to a standstill, and give the finger to the people who live there.
They were not entitled to cause all this damage and upset yesterday, and they are not entitled to do it every Sunday for the rest of the summer, as it seems they plan to do. Anyone organising such events bears responsibility for what happens at those events. And simply putting a disclaimer on a Facebook page does not relieve them of that responsibility.
While the individuals who took part are welcome to Salthill, as long as they comply with the normal modes of behaviour that are respectful to everyone, this type of event is not.
There also seems to be some questions to be answered about money supposedly being raised for charities.
There has been much criticism on local media this morning of the Gardaí and the way they handled the situation. This is not justified. They were simply overwhelmed and have to operate within the boundaries of the law and the resources available to them. Rather than complaining, if you have evidence that can identify anyone involved in wrong doing like photographs, videos etc send them to the Gardaí.
We call on the organiser/s of this event to cancel any plans to repeat the disruption over the summer. We call on a potential participants to show consideration and respect for others and to only take part in events that do not cause such disruption and distress. It’s all great fun until it’s not.
Seeing what has happened, to repeat it would be simply imtimadation.
A delayed journey might be nothing more than an inconvenience. But if the ambulance that had to turn back yesterday was on a more urgent case, it might have meant a life lost.