Fingal's beach litter shame
WASTE LEFT BEHIND TO WASH OUT TO SEA ON BANK HOLIDAY WEEKEND
SKERRIES Tidy Towns Committee was forced to take the initiative and clean up their beach themselves because the council could not afford to hire a beach clean up crew. The beautiful sunshine over the bank holiday weekend saw locals and tourists flocking to the seaside to bask in the heat. With so many people using the beach there was bound to be rubbish but with no litter cleanup crews recruited this year much of it was left to be swept out to sea and strewn along the shore. Meave McGann of Skerries Tidy Towns said that bins on the beach were overflowing and that locals decided to pick up the rubbish themselves. Ms McGann said that the Government's underfunding of local councils was to blame.
' The council should be able to employ people to do this job. They can't run their services unless the Government give them the money they need to do so.
'In this climate we'll be looking towards tourism to help us out. The Government should realise that all coastal towns, not just Skerries, could be an asset.'
In Portmarnock there was not a single bin on the beach and the two at the main entrance were soon overflowing.
County councillor and long-time beach advocate, Peter Coyle, said that the council could not ignore the beaches.
'All beach maintenance cannot be dropped instantaneously. Fingal County Council is losing a lot of credibility at the moment. Portmarnock Beach is the only beach in Fingal that can get a Blue Flag in 2010. It looks like that it will fail because of the lack of litter control.'
Beach sweeping machinery did return to Portmarnock on Tuesday and a crew was working on the grass but unlike last year this will not be a regular service. Ms McGann also urged beach-goers to take everything they can back home with them.
She said that the Tidy Towns committee was also launching a campaign to encourage walkers to pick up litter as they enter and leave the beach.
Fingal's beaches were already dealt a heavy blow earlier this month when the Environmental Protection Agency reported that four beaches failed the minimum standards for water quality.