Monday 20 May 2019

Signs will say beach is 'no alcohol zone'

Balbriggan/Swords area council meeting

Fingal beaches are no-alcohol zones
Fingal beaches are no-alcohol zones

John Manning

Following a busy summer on Fingal beaches and some concerns about an increase in alcohol-related antisocial behaviour on those same beaches, a Balbriggan councillor has called on the council to install signage on beaches that make it clear they are a 'no alcohol zone'.

Cllr Murphy called for the move at the most recent meeting of the Balbriggan/Swords Area Committee.

He said: 'We have had one of the best summer's we've had for 20 years and as a consequence we had a lot of people attending our beaches and it was great to see it.'

But unfortunately, with that increase attendance on the beaches, Cllr Murphy said there were incidents of antisocial behaviour on our beaches and may of those related to the consumption of alcohol.

He said it was important to tackle the issue as our beaches had to remain safe for families and children.

The council said that bye-laws were already in place against drinking on beaches and there was primary legislation nationally that made it an offence.

Cllr Murphy acknowledged the existence of the bye-law as but he said that more signage making it clear the practice is not acceptable would help.

He said: 'I feel personally that signage can given an opportunity for self-policing'.

He said that it was easier for people to point out to someone drinking on the beach that their behaviour is inappropriate if they have the signage to point to.

'If it's not there, it is more difficult for people to stand up against it,' he argued.

Council officials said that gardaí had wide-ranging powers to police the issue but accepted the point that clearer and more plentiful signage might help.

The council committed to reviewing all of its beach signage in this regard and putting new signs in place by next summer.

Fingal Independent