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AN OPEN LETTER FROM A GENUINE RALLY FAN: ‘THESE PEOPLE DO NOT REPRESENT US’

first_imgGenuine fans at the rally.Open letter By Rally Fan Joe McDaidDear Donegal Daily,Over the past few days I note various headlines around the subject of Rally Weekend, with articles highlighting the arrests numbers, public order offences, and videos of incidents of foolish and outright dangerous driving on our roads. Indeed the comments Judge Kelly made this morning (Monday 20th June) causes me both concern and embarrassment as it does to thousands of other genuine fans. To be fair, the point I raise is addressed in the articles published by the media and on the various Garda Press releases, but I believe there needs to be an ever clearer distinction made between genuine rally fans and “car culture boy(and girl) racers” so that genuine fans such as myself and the thousands of other rally fans who attended are not smeared and tarnished by the actions of the few.Moreover we don’t want to find ourselves in the position that the event itself is jeopardised because of this outrageous behaviour.I highlight this matter as I have been a rally fan all my life; I have never missed a Donegal Rally and I have travelled to various WRC events throughout the world.However I consider myself not even remotely associated with the “car culture boy racers” and it hurts me that ordinary people who are not familiar with the sport understandably mix the two – One can see this by reading the comments posted on various published articles. In the 25 odd years that I have followed the Donegal Rally, I personally have never engaged in the behaviour we so often see highlighted. I never had a penalty point, never had a speeding fine, a parking fine, not even a cross word from a member of An Garda Siochana.And this highlights the point I try to make. I am one of the thousands of genuine rally fans out on the stages on a wet windy Sunday morning, supporting our favourite driver(s) and crews.We are not the one’s driving around like lunatics, doing circles in front of Letterkenny Court House, or keeping people awake at 3 in the morning with loud exhausts. We are not the ones drink driving or drug driving, we are at home with our families or in our hotel rooms reading maps and planning the route for the next morning. We are analysing the times of competitors and reviewing footage from our cameras.Ask any person standing on a wet hedgerow on the side of Knockalla at 7am on a Saturday morning were they racing around the town at 3am the previous night and they will all respond the same … not a chance!The rally event seems to be only an excuse for an element of individuals to come to an area with the intention of engaging in driver lunacy. Incidentally, most of these individuals will profess if asked, that they have no idea who is leading the rally, who is still competing or even where the stages are. Therefore on behalf of the thousands of genuine rally fans, I kindly ask the public to be mindful of the fact that an overwhelming majority of the people coming to the County for the weekend are law abiding, hard working family (men and women) that are passionate about motorsport and completely condemn the actions of the “few” .As a Donegal resident, I would like to thank everyone involved in the organisation, planning and executing the event. As always it was run to the highest standard with professionalism and safety the epitome of the event. It is a privilege to attend and we should be blessed if this event continues long into the future.Finally, I wish to thank An Garda Siochana for the effort and organisation that went into policing the roads over the weekend, both myself and my passengers felt safe as we travelled between stages as there was an obvious Garda presence on the roads. I am appalled that so many were arrested but I’m confident that if a demographic of those arrested was released, we would find that few of them are genuine rally fans.Yours sincerely JoeLetterkennyAN OPEN LETTER FROM A GENUINE RALLY FAN: ‘THESE PEOPLE DO NOT REPRESENT US’ was last modified: June 26th, 2017 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:at the Topaz Donegal International Rally in Letterkenny. Pic: Clive Wassondonegalletterkennyrallylast_img read more