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Southsiders kick up a stink over seaweed

SOUTHSIDE residents are furious over the return of foul-smelling seaweed to their shores.

Locals in Blackrock and Booterstown, Co Dublin, are disgusted at the stink of the seaweed washed up on their beaches for the past few weeks.

Cllr Niamh Breathnach (Labour) warned that if the smell worsens, it could mean southside beaches would again lose out on a Blue Flag status.

She told the Herald: "It's a natural phenomenon, and our problem is that the tide isn't keeping it clear off the beach."

Cllr Breathnach said winning the Blue Flag status for Seapoint, a beach nearby, again would be hugely beneficial to the area, and everything must be done to protect its chances.

"I am definitely of the school that says if it has to be moved, it should be moved. The last time it went on forever, and was much worse in Dun Laoghaire," she said.

Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council has received some complaints from residents over the smells.

A spokesperson said: "This odour results from an accumulation of algae in the water and on the shore due to tidal movement. With vast quantities of the weed, it can give rise to an unpleasant odour."

Cllr Breathnach said she will be putting pressure on the council to make a decision on a solution to the problem before it escalates any further.

"I am putting pressure on the council to apply for the Blue Flag again. We had a good year last year and now we're experiencing the beginning of a problem and I'm asking the council if it will take a decision," she said.

A spokesperson for DLRCC added: "Water quality at all Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown bathing locations is monitored throughout the year and in general, water quality at Seapoint-Martello is excellent."

But Cllr Breathnach added: "From the Dart station, you're aware that it's there. And as a very concerned resident and frequent user of the Dart, I'll be keeping an eye on it."