60,000 to attend Rally of the Lakes in Killarney

Up to 60,000 people will be in Killarney, Co Kerry, this weekend for the annual Cartell.ie international Rally of the Lakes.

This is the rally’s 39th year and it is one of the country’s largest rallying events, with top drivers from the UK and Ireland among the 101 crews.

TV coverage is beamed to 38 countries, providing massive international exposure of the Kerry and West Cork area.

All accommodation is understood to be booked out, and a large Garda presence is operating in the town.

While the rally is a money- spinner for accommodation, fast food, and bars, locals regularly complain about noise, litter, and rowdiness, as well as boy racers.

Up to 200 boy racers have gathered for late-night stunts on the N22 in previous years, and a number of people have been before the courts.

Killarney Sgt Dermot O’Connell, who is in charge of policing the major event, said the last two years had seen a drop in ugly incidents.

“Gardaí are hoping the trend of the last number of years, with a decline in incidents, will continue,” said Sgt O’Connell.

He said gardaí will be “very visible”, carparks have been blocked off, and Garda Roads Policing will be out in force.

“This is a huge weekend over the two days of Saturday and Sunday particularly,” he said.

About 50,000 to 60,000 people will be in town or moving through the town each day.

A good number of the 20,000 attending the Ed Sheeran concerts in Cork’s Páirc Uí Chaoimh are expected to take in the rally.

The rally takes place over 240km along the Ring of Kerry and West Cork and gardaí have announced road closures over the 16 stages to be staggered from early morning.

Seven fathers and sons or daughters are participating in the event this year.

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