A local senator has said she was “gobsmacked” to learn that around 40 locations in Galway – including near a primary school in Oranmore – have been listed on a website as areas where people engage in sex acts in cars in front of onlookers.
And a Galway Dáil Deputy has called on the Gardaí to monitor the areas and have the website shut down.
The practice, known as ‘dogging’, appears to be spread widely in the city and Salthill, Oranmore and Barna, as well as towns and even small villages across the county.
However, Gardaí have said the law is untested when it comes to the activity, but added they “will not tolerate it”.
Senator Fidelma Healy Eames said the activity is inappropriate, particularly when teenagers on school holidays could be exposed to it.
When contacted by the Connacht Tribune, she said: “I’m gobsmacked. I wasn’t aware of this activity. I’m sure the general public in Oranmore and the other locations wouldn’t want to think this is part of their parish is being used for.
“What is of concern to me is that young people, teenagers, may be exposed to it. There is a vulnerability there. It’s inappropriate,” said Senator Healy Eames.
In all, a total of 38 locations in Galway are listed by users of the UK-based website as locations to watch others having sex in cars in public places. The website has almost 100,000 members.
Galway West Deputy Noel Grealish said it was “absolutely disgusting” that the activity was going on in areas where it could be witnessed by children.
“It’s absolutely disgusting. I’m bringing it to the attention of the Gardaí. I’ll be asking them to monitor these areas, and have the website shut down. God knows what effect this would have on children and young people who might come across it,” said Deputy Grealish.
Read more in today’s Connacht Tribune