Sulkies Racing Statement

Pavee Point has issued a statement on the issue of Sulkies Racing, subsequent to the publication online of footage online showing illegal and dangerous racing on a main road.

8 May 2012:

Pavee Point is concerned that all the participants involved in the event filmed placed themselves, their animals and other road users in danger.

This was a completely unacceptable misuse of a public road and Pavee Point calls on anybody contemplating similar activities to stop and consider the safety of their animals, themselves and other road users.

We are concerned that the practice of Sulkie Racing, which is a longstanding tradition within and outside the Traveller Community, should not be conflated with the actions of the participants in this event – Sulkie Racing can be carried out in a way which is safe and well regulated, where there is space for it to take place. Examples of good practice exist around Ireland.

Notwithstanding the investigation which will now rightly take place into the events filmed, Pavee Point calls on local authorities to engage with Traveller organisations, horse owner projects and the Gardaí to investigate how to bring about a resolution which allows this long-standing tradition to continue in a manner which is safe and legal.

Update: was earlier carrying an erroneous headline, describing Pavee Point press officer Ben Archibald as ‘Traveller Chief’ and ‘Traveller leader’.  Neither of these descriptions are accurate.

After we made contact with them, the headline has been amended.  At no point has Pavee Point or any staff member sought to be described in that manner.