'Reckless' quad bikers 'flouting' virus restrictions and habitats regulations

'Reckless' quad bikers 'flouting' virus restrictions and habitats regulations
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The public has been warned about using recreational off-road vehicles in the Wicklow/Dublin Mountains.

The Department of Culture, Heritage and Gaeltacht issued a statement saying that “groups and individuals have been observed using quads and trials bikes in the Wicklow/Dublin Mountains despite the current Covid-19 restrictions.”

The Department said that these people are travelling “on fragile mountain habits, forest roads/tracks and on the public road.

“There is evidence that some have travelled some distance to get there.

“Many of these vehicles are travelling at speed, causing a safety concern to landowners, other road users and people taking exercise within their 2km radius from home.”

They described individuals who have travelled distances as "reckless", saying they are "flouting the current Covid-19 restrictions".

The Department said that despite the Covid-19 restrictions, the use of the vehicles in the Wicklow Mountains National Park and Special Area of Conservation “is an illegal activity and extremely damaging to the fragile landscapes of the Dublin/Wicklow Mountains.”

They added: “We remind all users of the Wicklow Mountains that the use of recreational off-road vehicles within the Special Area of Conservation is illegal under the European Communities Birds and Natural Habitats Directive and ask people to report such behaviour to the Duty Ranger of Wicklow Mountains National Park at 087 980 3899 and the Gardaí. 

 

“This activity is a scourge to upland habitats. Reports will be followed up on and perpetrators prosecuted where possible.

“Given the current national crisis, we would hope that the precious resources of the State are not required to deal with such avoidable behaviour.”

    The current restrictions started on Friday, March 27. They mandate that everyone should stay at home, only leaving to:
  • Shop for essential food and household goods;
  • Attend medical appointments, collect medicine or other health products;
  • Care for children, older people or other vulnerable people - this excludes social family visits;
  • Exercise outdoors - within 2kms of your home and only with members of your own household, keeping 2 metres distance between you and other people
  • Travel to work if you provide an essential service - be sure to practice physical distancing

Yesterday, Ireland saw its highest number of deaths in a 24-hour period today.

41 people diagnosed with coronavirus in died, bringing the state’s total to 406.

With an additional 548 new confirmed cases reported by Irish laboratories and 284 confirmed cases reported by a laboratory in Germany, there are now a total of 11,479 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ireland.

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