Access to the beach at Lough Dan has been closed because of the amount of anti-social activity and dumping taking place over the summer months.
Sean Byrne, who runs Lough Dan House, said he was left with no option but to close access to the beach because of the ongoing problems he has been encountering over recent months. A recent litter pick at Lough Dan organised by Wicklow County Council saw the Pure Project truck filled completely with items such as discarded tents, sleeping bags, bottles, cans and other camping materials left behind by visitors.
'The dumping hasn't stopped over the whole summer,' said Sean.
'Last Monday week we were out from lunchtime until late into the night clearing up the area. We filled up the entire Pure truck. I'm just getting fed up with it at this stage. So many visitors show no respect whatsoever to the area and its local environment. You have all different groups arriving.
'They are promoting the beach as a place to visit on social media and mentioning our Lough Dan House as the meeting place. I wasn't aware of this until I encountered someone who showed me a message about meeting at Lough Dan House and then heading down to the beach from there. Now I have my own social media campaign to reverse that and spread word that the beach is now shut. Access to Kanturk remains open.'
Food stuff and rubbish is also routinely left behind at the scenic beach, while camp fires also present a risk.
'You have all sorts of waste being dumped there. It's a disgrace,' added Sean.
'The rubbish they are leaving behind is getting into the water and causing pollution. You have families and children trying to enjoy the spot but they have to be careful with the kids on the beach. They run around picking up everything, as kids do, and you wouldn't know what they could find in one of the bushes because the campers have been using the bushes as a toilet. I'm finding a huge number of fire pits left behind as well, some as close as a foot away from gorse. It that were to catch fire then the whole area could break out in fire.'
Sean was attempting to construct a shed nearby to store materials to prevent them from being stolen, only for the timber frames he was going to use being thrown onto fires to help fuel the blaze.
'You can't leave anything here or it will be stolen. I was trying to build a small shed to secure and lock up stuff. I had these timber planks and frames and every scrap was gone and thrown onto two fires. I had to get replacement frames and start from scratch again.'
Sean hopes that the public will respect the signage announcing the closure of the beach due to anti-social behaviour, littering and illegal camping, and is dreading the upcoming August bank holiday weekend.
'I hope there won't be any problems and am praying for snow for the bank holiday.'