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Bathing banned in 12 Dublin beaches as water is polluted

BATHERS were banned from 12 north Dublin beaches yesterday after water pollution brought on by heavy rain.

Fingal County Council announced that swimmers are being warned off because the recent bad weather has affected water quality but they won't find out until this afternoon when they can expect to lift the notice.

Skerries, Malahide and Velvet Strand in Portmarnock were among the beaches designated as no-swim areas.


A spokesperson for Fingal county council said that the water quality was affected by the downpours over the weekend causing overflow in the pump stations along the strands.

Margaret Donnelly, from Swords walks Velvet Strand regularly and she told the Herald that the swim ban had left the beach much quieter than usual.

"Usually on a day like today the beach would be jam-packed but today it is much quieter," she said.

"It's such a beautiful beach and great for children. The only worry is that if you have two or three kids you are not going to notice temporary signs about water quality," she said.

Anne Conroy from Artane brings her young grandchildren, Liam and James, to the beach because she wants them to share the same memories of the bay.

"They love being down here but thankfully they are happy to stay in the sand. It's a real pity for those who use the beach to swim," she said.

A spokesperson for the council insisted that it was rare for water quality to drop at this time of year and it was hoped they would soon be able to lower the red flag.

The water in Fingal beaches usually qualifies as good or excellent and it is hoped that the next round of testing will show a return to this standard.

Beaches that received a notice also included Balbriggan, Loughshinny, Skerries north and south, Balcarrick, Malahide, Tower Bay, Brook Beach, Burrow Beach, Claremont Beach and Hampton Cove.

This is not the first time that those wanting to take a dip have been warned away. Last month rainfall caused a rise in bacteria levels on Sandymount strand.