Beachgoers in the Banner County are being warned to dispose of their litter in a safe manner or prepare to pay fines ranging from €150 to €3000.
Clare County Council is urging visitors to Clare’s main beaches this June Bank Holiday Weekend to take responsibility for their rubbish by bringing it home with them.
The Council has employed additional resources to deal with the increase in litter that has resulted from the rise in visitor numbers to beaches such as Kilkee, Lahinch and Spanish Point. The local authority says it is also installing additional refuse facilities at Clare’s Blue Flags in an effort to minimise littering while litter wardens have been deployed to monitor littering activity.
“Our beach is a fantastic resource for the wider community and it’s up to us all to ensure that we take home what we bring to the beach”, explained Cyril Feeney, Area Engineer with Clare County Council.
He added, “The Council wishes to acknowledge those who have used the public bins to dispose of their litter. These bins are emptied regularly each day but often reach their capacity due to the unprecedented large volumes of visitors to the beaches. We are currently installing additional bins but would continue to ask the public to take responsibility for their own rubbish and leave nothing behind but their footprints.”
“Leaving or throwing litter in a public place is an offence that can be subject to an on-the-spot fine of €150 or a maximum fine of €3,000 if you are convicted of a litter offence in the District Court. Council litter wardens will take action where they deem necessary so we would advise the public to be wary of the law around littering. After all, indiscriminate dumping of picnic litter and other rubbish does not create a positive image for any beach or for local tourism.
“Local volunteers have been of great assistance to Council staff in dealing with rubbish on our beaches but people must be more civic minded when it comes to cleaning up after themselves. This will help to eradicate litter/waste from our beautiful coastline for the benefit of our locals and tourists alike,” concluded Mr. Feeney.
Clare has been one of the warmest locations in Ireland this week with temperatures regularly hitting 23c. Consequently, large numbers of people have visited the County’s beaches , including Kilkee, Fanore, Spanish Point, White Strand, Lahinch and Bishops Quarter.
With forecasts of continued dry and warm weather over the June Bank Holiday Weekend meanwhile, members of the public are being urged to be extra vigilant when participating in water-based activities.
Lifeguard cover will be provided from 11.00am to 7.00pm this Saturday, Sunday and Monday at Clare’s Blue Flag beaches in Spanish Point, Lahinch, Spanish Point, Fanore, Whitestrand Doonbeg, Ballycuggeran, Mountshannon, Cappagh Pier, Kilkee and Whitestrand Miltown Malbay. Cover will continue on Saturdays and Sundays during the month of June. There will be full-time time cover at these locations as well as at Bishops Quarter (Ballyvaughan) and Seafield Quilty during the months of July and August.
Claire McGrath, Water Safety Development Officer with Clare County Council is asking people to swim only in lifeguarded areas denoted by the lifeguard flags (red over yellow flags).
She explained: “I would urge members of the public to observe notices on any beach or where they want to swim, and to observe the Lifeguard’s rules and regulations regarding off limit swimming locations. Anyone who sees a water user in difficulty should summon help immediately. Children should be supervised at all times when near water, while people should also be wary of the locations of ringbuoys.”
Regarding those taking to Clare’s waterways on leisure crafts and boats, Ms. McGrath said: “Before entering the water, people are advised to check local weather conditions. People are also asked to wear correctly maintained and fitting lifejackets that are suitable for the activity and to ensure their craft is fit for purpose. Under no circumstances should alcohol be consumed prior to entering the water. To protect of other water users, users of boats and jet skis should also obey speed limits when launching or retrieving their vessel.”
Members of the public are requested to report any damaged, stolen, missing or retrieved ringbuoys via www.ringbuoys.ie, or by contacting Claire McGrath on 065-6846270.