Monday 16 September 2019

Demand for probe into beach pollution

The Beach at Sandycove.
The Beach at Sandycove.

Allison Bray

A councillor is demanding answers following the contamination of Sandycove Beach by shards of plastic fibres used in the construction of a new pier at nearby Dún Laoghaire baths.

Melisa Halpin, a Dún Laoghaire Rathdown county councillor, said it was crucial those responsible for the contamination of the popular Forty Foot bathing site deploy all necessary staff to clean up the mess and prevent further contamination.

She said serious questions remain over how the mishap had happened.

"They absolutely have to put in as many workers as necessary to see if there's further seepage," she told the Irish Independent last night.


"But the big question is how the hell did they get this so wrong? At the point where we're trying to stop using plastics, pouring it into the sea on purpose seems ludicrous."

Officials from the SIAC/Mantovani Group - which was contracted by the council to build the new pier - promised to send a marine specialist and divers to the site yesterday to inspect the shoreline.

The company had also said it would deploy at least 50 staff on Saturday to clean up after locals found 4cm-long shards of sharp plastic littering the sand and shoreline of Sandycove Beach on Friday morning.

Officials from the company could not be reached for comment last night.

The rigid plastic fibres, estimated to weigh 100kg in total, escaped from underwater foundations for the pier last Tuesday. The company said the fibres normally bind with concrete but something went amiss and the fibres detached.

On Saturday, the council said the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Parks and Wildlife Service had been advised and that it continued to "closely monitor the developing situation".

Irish Independent

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