Wednesday 26 June 2019

Bellawaddy River is an embarrassment, says councillor

Bellawaddy River is clogged with sand. Pic: Cllr Joe Queenan
Bellawaddy River is clogged with sand. Pic: Cllr Joe Queenan

Sorcha Crowley at Sligo County Council meeting

The Bellawaddy River which flows out onto Enniscrone beach has been described by local Independent Councillor Joe Queenan as an "absolute disgrace."

He tabled a motion at the meeting calling on the Chief Executive Ciarán Hayes to work with the respective bodies to ensure that the river was cleaned up.

It's currently clogged with sand deposits and Cllr Queenan fears it could cause localised flooding to nearby houses if it's not removed.

"The Fisheries have refused anyone permission to go in and clean it because of tadpoles," he told members.

"Between environmentalists and health and safety you can do nothing," he said, and called on the Chief Executive to "talk sense" to the Fisheries Board.

"It's an embarrassment for tourism for the town. The amount of people who walked past that last weekend. A machine needs to go in there and clean it. You couldn't have a duck race in it at the moment. The ducks would get stuck," he said.

Independent Councillor Michael Clarke and Fianna Fáil Councillor Paul Taylor supported Cllr Queenan's motion.

"I was in Enniscrone last weekend and that's the first thing that caught my eye," said Cllr Taylor.

"I thought it was an absolute disgrace. I'm delighted Joe Queenan raised it," he said.

Acting Director of Services Tom Brennan said the Council would "endeavour to work with the Fisheries to get the area cleaned up as soon as possible."

Fine Gael Councillor Dara Mulvey said if the river flooded it would cost a lot more funding than now.

Fine Gael Councillor Sinead Maguire also supported the motion.

"It really takes from the visit. It can smell quite badly. It's a really far from ideal way for us to exhibit what we have on offer," she said.

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