Police investigate illegal horse race in County Cork

Police investigate after footage of 'illegal horse racing' on a main road is uploaded to the internet

Irish police are investigating an illegal horse race near Blarney, County Cork.

Around 60 to 70 spectators in a number of cars and vans were seen following harness racers on the main Cork to Mallow road on 5 May.

One man was arrested under the public order act and later released. Police said they have identified a number of people involved and the vehicles used.

Gardai are also looking at possible offences relating to animal cruelty.

Supt Con Cadogan described the activity as a clear breach of road traffic legislation and said it posed a significant danger to those involved and other road users.

A video of the race was posted on YouTube.

Speaking on RTE's Morning Ireland radio programme, Ben Archibald from the Traveller's support group, Pavee Point described the race as indefensible.

Horses and buggies racing on main road Gardai are also looking at possible offences relating to animal cruelty

"What we saw on Saturday, what we saw in that video was just a serious risk to life, and there's nothing cultural about that, you can't defend that on cultural grounds, and no Traveller is trying to," he said.

He said Pavee Point had made contact with the Horse Forum in Cork after Saturday's incident out of concern for animal safety.

The group said although this type of racing is part of the Traveller tradition, it is unregulated.

Mr Archibald urged Travellers who wanted to take part in harness races to work with their local Traveller organisation, police and local authority to find a safe and responsible way of doing so.

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