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Councillors welcome €200,000 government funded initiative to tackle illegal scramblers and quads

The fund will be targeted at communities in Dublin and Limerick
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Clodagh Meaney

Councillors have welcomed a €200,000 government funded initiative to tackle illegal scramblers and quad bikes.

The funding which was announced as part of a proposal by The Anti-Social Behaviour Forum and is targeted at communities in Dublin and Limerick.

Sinn Fein councillor Daithí Doolan welcomed the move: "This initiative is to be welcomed. Receiving €62,000, Cherry Orchard is the main beneficiary.”

“The fund will be targeted at 98 young people currently involved in illegal scramblers use. It is definitely a step in the right direction.”

The community approach seeks to address the misuse of the off-road vehicles.

“The Government must now ensure this funding remains in place over the next few years. Once off funding will not properly tackle the problem of illegal scramblers.”

“To be successful the initiative also needs to be linked with effective legislation, increased Garda numbers and training,” he explained.

"Many in these communities have felt abandoned and have lost confidence in the Gardaí. This is an opportunity to change that.”

“To do so we need long term funding, legislation that allows Gardaí seize illegal scramblers and the Minister must increase Garda numbers to ensure the legislation came be properly enforced.”

“Anything less is just short term publicity."

The scheme is based on a model developed by the Moyross Youth Diversion Project and is a means of intervention and diversion away from this activity rather than an enforcement.

Announcing the scheme earlier this year, Minister of State for Law Reform, James Browne TD said that the anti-social use of scramblers and quad bikes poses a risk to safety as well as impacting other residents.

TD Gino Kenny also welcomed the initiative: “Hopefully this funding will help start a process where young people can continue to use motocross vehicles but in a safe manner that doesn’t harm our communities.”

“People Before Profit continue to work with young people and community groups to promote safe use of scramblers.”

In October, Fianna Fáil councillor Daryl Barron said a zero-tolerance approach is needed to tackle the problem after a young mother suffered serious injuries after being hit by a scrambler in Dublin 17.

She was brought to Beaumont Hospital where there were grave concerns about her health and she remains in a serious condition.

Thoughts are with the young woman that was seriously injured (on Sunday) night on Priorswood Road.

"Another serious incident with a scrambler on our street in Dublin.”

“This is not the first time this has happened and the way I see it is we need a zero-tolerance approach,” he added.

“We need to give the Garda the powers to take on the situation with scramblers head on.”

The scene of the crash is just a short distance from where a man suffered life-altering injuries after being hit by a scrambler.

In 2018, Ilabek Avetian was sunbathing in Darndale Park with his wife when he was hit by an off-road bike.

The victim lost an eye and suffered a brain injury and is still in rehabilitation because of the incident.

His wife, Anzhela Kotsinian welcomed the initiative when it was announced, telling the Irish Independent: “I’m very happy to hear about this, along with the legislation. It’s a victory for all the Irish people.”

“Now, I hope each person will be sure of their safety in a public park. I think that’s great. A lot of things will change to make life better for people in communities.”

Anzhela recently welcomed new measures to make it an offence to drive scramblers or quads in parks, green spaces, on beaches or wasteland.

Anzhela said parents “will think more seriously about buying scramblers as presents for young people. And the community initiatives will help young people to have other interests.

“I hope this initiative, with the legislation, will help young people to know they must respect others.”

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