independent

Sunday 17 December 2017

'If someone was drowning, we could not have launched'

Parked cars blocking access to the slipway at Greystones Harbour on Sunday
Parked cars blocking access to the slipway at Greystones Harbour on Sunday

Members of Greystones Coastguard were unable to launch their boat on Sunday due to cars parked in such a way as to prevent them accessing the slipway.

Dermot McCauley of Greystones Coastguard said that motorists had parked inconsiderately.

'When you come into the harbour to drive down, there's a line across the road which says "stop" before turning left or right. People park right across it, effectively blocking access into the harbour,' he said.

Dermot said that there are two slipways and both were completely blocked.

'It's an ongoing problem and nobody seems to want to take responsibility.'

He said that the gardaí say that the area is private property.

'I got on to the harbour office on Sunday, they said it's not their responsibility. Wicklow County Council say it's the responsibility of the harbour master. The gardaí said it's private property. It's a bit of a quagmire, I've thought about it and don't know what the answer is,' Dermot said.

Members of the Coastguard are appealing to people to think carefully about where they are parking.

'If there was someone drowning at 4 p.m. on Sunday, we could not have launched our boat,' said Dermot.

The Greystones crew had been asked to do water safety at a swim in Wicklow that day.

'It's a very serious situation,' said Dermot, who intends to write to the council and BJ Marina about the matter.

'Until people get fined or inconvenienced they'll keep doing it,' he said. 'On a busy Sunday like that, we wouldn't be effective and wouldn't be able to operate, beyond a shadow of a doubt.'

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