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Residents feel trapped in homes as visitors flock to seaside

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Rows of cars that were lined up outside homes at the cul de sac before Morriscastle strand beach on the weekend of July 18 and 19

Rows of cars that were lined up outside homes at the cul de sac before Morriscastle strand beach on the weekend of July 18 and 19

Rows of cars that were lined up outside homes at the cul de sac before Morriscastle strand beach on the weekend of July 18 and 19

Over the weekend of July 18 and 19, local residents living on the cul de sac leading to Morriscastle beach described feeling 'trapped' in their homes due to large crowds of visitors.

Aedin Shelley, who has lived in the area for 20 years, said that while she is aware of the pros and cons of living in a popular tourist area, things appear to be different this year.

Residents didn't feel they had time to prepare, she said, and were caught off-guard by the sudden influx of people.

'I live quite close to the beach. You know you're going to have this a few days of the year but at the moment it's just atrocious on every kind of a fine day. I couldn't leave my house on Sunday. Many of my fears and anxieties increased during Covid-19 but this is overwhelming - it's so much scarier.

'There was no slow build-up of tourists this year because of the lockdown, it was just straight into the season with a wave of people. I can't be the only resident in the area over-awed by the whole thing.

'I've put up signs outside my house so people won't park there and on Saturdays and Sundays, I've to patrol outside my house to stop people parking up and blocking up the flow of traffic on the road.

'There seems to be no common sense. I don't mind giving space outside my house for people to pull in to give way to oncoming traffic, but with people double-parked or parked illegally, it's impossible for free flowing traffic.

'Some people are blaming the footpath for the issue and assuming that's it but I know it's because of the influx of people parking illegally,' she said.

Aedin said that a drive to the beach or village usually takes a short length of time, two to three minutes, but it has taken her daughter 20 minutes to half an hour over the last week.

'It went from nobody around to a massive influx of people and I've been counting the cars and mobile home vehicles. I know they are just holiday makers, and I'm happy they've come here rather than going abroad in terms of spreading the virus but I am concerned about this amount of people in this small amount of space.

'If Covid has taught us anything, it's that we can react much quicker to a crisis than we feel we can. There must be landowners in the area that can offer a solution of private parking because waiting until next summer is absolutely too far away. I would feel that the urgency is there because people want to come now.

'I'm concerned for those who may have appointments in the village or access for emergency services if needed,' she said.

Aedin said that she has contacted public representatives as well as Wexford County Council to arrange a public meeting to express these views, but feels that this issue cannot continue as she is at her wits end every weekend.

'We need to protect the local area and, at the moment it is a bit daunting, there are no local amenities that I feel safe going into because of the crowds. There's a huge push on the resources and in my view, a very serious health and safety risk,' she said.

Gorey Guardian