‘A cow was so panicked by jet skis on the lake that she threw a calf’ – McNamara

Independent TD Michael McNamara has spoken of an incident where “a cow was so panicked by jet skis on the lake that she threw a calf” in the Dáil recently.

In a debate on a motion brought forward by Sinn Féin in relation to scramblers and quad bikes, the Clare TD said that jet skis should be included in this category.

“I do not know anybody for whom a jet ski is an essential work vehicle,” the deputy said.

They are a nuisance which I encountered throughout this summer. There were a lot more people in the water in Clare than in previous years. As a result, jet skis were used in lakes throughout the county.

“I know that general boating is not subject to licensing in Ireland and I do not think it should be. There is a long tradition of lake boating where I come from in Clare, and I am sure it is the same in most counties with lakes.

“However, jet skis are very different from a young lad doing a bit of fishing in a boat on a lake. He can ramp up the outboard engine as much as he wants but he will not cause much nuisance.”

‘A cow was so panicked by jet skis on the lake that she threw a calf’

The deputy said that because of the lockdown and initial good weather during the summer, jet skis were used on lakes “where they had never been seen before”.

I spoke to a constituent about it [recently]. She told me of an incident on her family farm, which adjoins a lake. A cow was so panicked by jet skis on the lake that she threw a calf.

“There can be no doubt that jet skis are a nuisance. I am not suggesting for a moment that all jet skis are a nuisance. There is a time and a place for jet skis, just as there is for quad bikes and scrambler motorcycles, as Sinn Féin fully recognises in this motion.

“Those vehicles are appropriate in properly fenced and secured mountain biking areas. However, jet skis on the water and motorbikes in parks are potentially very dangerous vehicles.

“Some kind of regime must be put in place to differentiate between those who use jet skis in appropriate places and those who do not and, thus, break the peace and tranquility of the area and endanger human and animal life on quiet lakes, frequently frightening cattle.”