By Tríona Doherty
Councillors have given the go-ahead to amended bylaws for the control of horses in the county.
The minimum age at which a person can be in charge of a horse on a public road has been lowered from 18 to 16. In addition, the amount of time which the council is obliged to keep a horse in the pound has been reduced from seven to five days.
Just one submission was received from a member of the public regarding the amendment of the bylaws, which were last published in 2000.
The council’s director of services David Hogan said that “common sense will apply in the application of the bylaws”.
“We have to have a minimum age, and the age has been reduced from 18 to 16. It depends on variants such as the horse and the skill of the rider,” he added.
He was responding to concerns from Cllr Mark Cooney that imposing an age limit may affect families with younger members who are competent to be in charge of a horse.
“I can see some merit and logic to the age limit, but you can have a situation where a person of 16 can be more responsible than a 21-year-old on a horse. We had a submission from a family with horses, who have children who are under 16 but are competent - I would hope common sense will apply and it won’t restrict people’s activities,” he suggested.
The amended bylaws were proposed by Cllr Denis Leonard and seconded by Cllr Tom Allen.