Wednesday 18 October 2017

Demand for report into bathing ban at beaches

Gordon Deegan

A DETAILED report has been demanded over the decision to ban swimming for 24 hours at three popular beaches at the weekend.

Clare County Council, in consultation with the Health Service Executive (HSE), put in place the unprecedented ban on Friday after elevated levels of e-coli were found in the water off Lahinch, Kilkee and Spanish Point last Wednesday.

The situation was due to be reviewed yesterday when results from a Friday sample were due to become available. However, preliminary results produced on Saturday showed a dramatic improvement, prompting the lifting of the ban.

Lahinch hotelier Michael Vaughan said the ban that was in place "has resulted in lots of questions, but no answers".

The current president of the Irish Hotels' Federation (IHF) said that businesses need to be re-assured by the council that the ban will not re-occur.

He said: "Very few people knew what was going on and people are concerned that the beach can be shut down at such short notice at the height of the tourist season.

Unnecessary

"Was the council being over-cautious in putting the ban in place in the first place?" he asked.

Demanding a report, Senator Martin Conway (FG) described the move to ban swimming at the three beaches as "a rush of blood to the head".

"This is confirmed where the council bans swimming at the beaches and the ban is lifted within 24 hours," he said.

Mr Conway said that the 24-hour swimming ban "created endless unnecessary bad headlines for Lahinch and the other resorts".

He said that the report by the council should include the advice that was received from the HSE on the issue.

Irish Independent

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