Forest fires cause cancellation of rally

One of the first major casualties of the forest and gorse fires earlier this year emerged yesterday as the Donegal Motor Club announced the cancellation of one of its more popular events.

One of the first major casualties of the forest and gorse fires earlier this year emerged yesterday as the Donegal Motor Club announced the cancellation of one of its more popular events.

The club has announced that regretfully the Abbey Hotel Forest Stages rally planned for Saturday, July 23 will not be able to proceed as the forests over which the stages were to run are currently unavailable.

The Clerk of the Course Michael Kelly said: “We are really sorry that the Abbey Hotel Forest Stages cannot go ahead on the planned date.

“We have been in ongoing discussion with Coillte about the forests we hoped to use and they have worked very hard to try and accommodate us. They have been super to work with and we want to publicly acknowledge all their help in trying to assist us.

“Sadly, the worst series of gorse and forest fires ever seen swept through the county earlier this year, laying waste to thousands of hectares of Coillte and other property. Normal forestry operations were suspended and have had to be rescheduled, thereby affecting the planned date for the forest stages.

“We have worked over the past weeks to work around the difficulties and appreciate the assistance given by Coillte, including the offer of alternative terrain, to try and get the rally to run but unfortunately it is just not possible at present.

“However, we look forward to working with Coillte so that the Forest Stages can continue to run and are looking at all possibilities to see if the event can be rescheduled.

“We also wish to acknowledge the support of the Abbey Hotel and the White Hotel Group throughout these past weeks and look forward to being back with them in Donegal Town as soon as possible,” concluded Kelly.