Dog doo causes a stink in Rossbeigh

Simon Brouder

There are calls for a full-time care taker to be appointed at picturesque Rossbeigh Beach where, Kerry County Council has heard, dog fouling is making life miserable for many beachgoers.

The issue was raised during Monday's monthly meeting of Kerry County Council by Fianna Fáil councillors Michael Cahill and John Francis Flynn during a lengthy debate on the Litter Pollution Act.

Both councillors pointed out that while there is a caretaker at the beach from June 1 to the end of September, outside of the busy summer tourist season there is no caretaker.

In addition, once the summer is over the refuse bins and dog fowling bins on the beach are removed.

This has, according to the councillors, led to a situation where the beach is often marred by huge amounts of dog waste.

"The council provide a caretaker every year from the 1st of June to the end of September and the beach is well maintained. Outside of this period the refuse bins and dog fouling bins are removed and this has become a big problem for dumping and dog fouling," said Cllr Cahill.

Cllr Cahill - who lives in Rossbeigh - said the problem has grown worse thanks to the steady increase in the number of people visiting the beach during the off season.

"The beach has become increasingly busy off season with the success of the Wild Atlantic Way. There has been an alarming increase in the number of people walking dogs on the beach in recent years and it is quite common to see up to 50 or 60 dogs on the beach on any one day," said Cllr Cahill.

"Our beaches are a very important part of County Kerry's economy and they need to be maintained to the highest of standards and the only way this can be achieved is by having a permanent caretaker who will ensure, amongst other things, that the bins are put out and emptied on a weekly basis," Cllr Cahill said.

His call was echoed by Cllr John Francis Flynn who said it was ridiculous that the caretaker and bins are only in place during the summer tourist season.

"The bins are only there in the summer season but the beach is open for 12 months. The lack of bins is encouraging people to dump their litter and ruin the beach," Cllr Flynn told The Kerryman.

Cllr Flynn said that the issue has been raised with Kerry County Councils engineers and efforts have been made to see if the local Community Involvement Scheme could be brought on board to help deal with the issue.

He reiterated his view that rubbish and dog fouling bins need to be in place at the beach all year round.

"I don't know what type of dogs live in the rest of Kerry, but in mid Kerry our dogs don't just s**t seasonally," Cllr Flynn said.

Meanwhile, Cllr Cahill said that a general increase in illegal dumping across the county was as a result of price increases, the fact that not all of the old refuse routes are being serviced and "sheer recklessness" by members of the public.

Management said it would examine the issue at Rossbeigh.