Nine well-known public locations in County Longford have been cited on a website as potential sites for ‘dogging’, an activity where people engage in sex acts in their cars, while being watched by others.
The website, Swing4Ireland.com lists the locations giving specific directions, times, dates and instructions to those seeking to partake in this activity. Including the neighbouring counties of Leitrim, Westmeath, Cavan and Roscommon, the total number of locations cited rises to 84.
According to Swing4Ireland.com, the nine locations in Co Longford include the Townspark Industrial Estate, Athlone Road, Longford; Corn Hill, Drumlish; the Edgeworthstown Road, Granard; the Sports Complex, Granard; a location on the Killoe /Ballinalee Road; a location in Lanesboro, The Mall Sports Complex Longford; Lough Naback and a location in Tarmonbarry. While these locations are listed on the website, there is no evidence that any such activity takes place there. Swing4Ireland.com boasts 522 registered users from County Longford.
According to the website, which lists close to 83,000 registered users and has been in operation for more than five years, the ‘dogging’ term comes from the expression ‘walking the dog’ or “covering outdoor exhibitionism and car fun”.
Speaking to the Longford Leader, the Garda Press Office stated that while the term ‘dogging’ was not recognised in legal terms, “any person who exposes themselves in a public place can be prosecuted under the Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act 1994”.
The website is operated by a company called Symbios Solutions Ltd, whose registered address is in Fareham, England. Speaking to the media recently, a spokesperson for the organisation stated that there was nothing illegal about the site.
“If you look at the law relating to ‘dogging’, people doing that activity out of doors, which is consensual, is not illegal,” said Mike Saunders of Symbios Solutions Ltd. “It is only illegal if they are doing it where somebody would be offended. We are providing people that are interested in dogging with a safe environment online to be able to discuss it. Meeting like minded people in an open and honest environment. You have to remember that everything on that site is user generated.”