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16 Jan 2022

Residents complain of ‘noise, smoke and smell’ from ‘diffing’ events

County councillors call for more regulation of organised car events in Donegal

Diffing "making peoples' lives hell" in Manor, JPC told

There has been a growth in the number of so-called diffing events in recent years and councillors are concerned about the impact on residents

County councillors have called for greater regulation of organised car events in the Letterkenny area amid concerns from residents.

There has been a growth in the number of so-called diffing events in recent years and councillors are concerned about the impact on residents.

Donegal County Council has been called on to address the concerns of residents through regulations and bylaws. 

The issue was raised in a motion at the January meeting of the Letterkenny-Milford Municipal District by Cllr Gerry McMonagle (Sinn Féin).

He said he had been contacted by residents who live close to the sites of diffing events who have complained about the noise, smoke, smell, and increase in traffic close to the events.

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Such sites have become more popular and a number have opened up in recent years, he said.

Some of the events run for up to 12 hours until after 10pm, he said. There are concerns about how well regulated the events are.

“I’m not trying to stop them, but if they are to continue, they need to be regulated to a high level and people living nearby need to be given an opportunity to raise their concerns,” he said. 

The chair of the Donegal Joint Policing Committee said he has raised issues about the events in that forum.

“I am concerned about the planning regulation of these sites and residents may not have a process whereby they can object and make suggestions to make them safer.”

Fianna Fáil councillor Donal Coyle seconded the motion and said that there has to be regulation of the sites. He said the diffing events are impacting on people and the events have to be run in a supervised and regulated way.

Donegal County Council said it has followed up on a number of the events and has instigated enforcement.

Liam Ward, the council’s director of service for planning, said there is a role for the council’s planning and environment sections as well as gardaí in the regulation of such events.

He said in the past the council had sought to engage directly with people who were organising the events and that is something they should continue to seek to do.

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