Lessons have to be learned from the past weekend in Letterkenny, according to local Councillor Gerry McMonagle.
Thousands of people turned the town into a no-go zone with anti-social behaviour, traffic jams and dangerous driving over the past three days.
A total of 53 arrests were made by gardaí.
Action must be taken now to manage the crowds and keep Letterkenny safe next year, says Cllr McMonagle.
The Chairperson of the Donegal Joint Policing Committee has proposed a forum of stakeholders, including Gardaí, the Chamber of Commerce, Donegal Road Safety Working Group and the Donegal Motor Club.
“We need to sit down and discuss ways and means that will prevent the type of activity that has been happening this last three or four years around the time that the rally has taken place,” Cllr McMonagle said.
Cllr McMonagle out that the behaviour at the weekend was not associated with the official Donegal Rally, which hasn’t been held in two years.
He said: “We’ve been at pains to say the rally has nothing to do with the incidents and the people that come and carry out the loutish behaviour that they’ve done this weekend. But I think the Motor Club have a role to play in offering good advice to us.”
Cllr McMonagle said bye-laws and regulations could be considered to bring order to the town during this annual gathering.
“We saw in the pandemic when you could only travel 5K, checkpoints were set up.
“We could set up checkpoints and direct people to parking sites so they aren’t allow within the 30km/hr zone of Letterkenny.
“We need to ensure Letterkenny and Donegal remains open for business during the rally weekend, that people that come have a good experience, and that the residents and the locals do not be subjected to the behaviour that we witnessed this weekend again.
“Everything has to be on the table and if we get all the stakeholders around the table we will hopefully come up with a solution.”
Cllr McMonagle added that the pandemic should not be forgotten either.
“We have to be mindful the virus hasn’t gone away. To see hundreds and thousands of people on the main street and the shenanigans around driving cars, the noise levels and loutish behaviour it’s not good enough.
“It’s not fair on the people of the town, this year in particular we are coming out of lockdown, businesses are starting up again, people are getting used to being out and about again.
“We as elected representations, the business community and gardaí and the council need to come together to address this issue and ensure it doesn’t happen again.”