Cork County Council Say Ring Beach Is Safe Amid Safety Fears

By Seamus Whelehan

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Cork County Council say the public access to Ring Beach is safe despite concerns raised by the Ballymacoda Ladysbridge Community Council.

John O’Brien the Community Council’s environmental officer had accused the local authority of inaction claiming parts of the route are caving away by the day, potentially threatening a popular swim week.

Hundreds of swimmers and their families attend the Irish Water Safety week on Ring beach, each July and it is worth in excess of €80,000 to the local economy.

Mr O’Brien had warned that the popular swim week on the Knockadoon peninsula next season, could be cancelled for the first time in almost 40 year.

Parts of the beach walking track are gone and the access to the beach is unacceptable for elderly people and parents with kid’s buggies he has claimed.

The East Cork event is considered the busiest safety week location in the County.

The Community Council Environmental Officer says he has watched for years as the road falls away.

“Erosion of the route is progressing at an alarming rate. Sixty traffic cones each year are put along the access road to the car park, to prevent parking on the verge, as this would cause access problems for emergency services, if something happened on the beach.”

An assessment carried out by International Life Saving Federation of Europe (ILSE) to which Irish Water Safety are affiliated found while the approach road as very narrow it did not find it to be ‘’hazardous.’’

Mr O’Brien who is looking for the public car park to be extended to accept the increased traffic, has accused the Authority of buck passing stating "no one is taking responsibility and actually trying to fix the problems.”

He said a petition of almost 200 names presented to Council over four years ago has gone unanswered.

“The access to the beach is 60 x 4 meters and the car park is 50x25 meters. 184 parents have signed a petition to have Politicians do something about it, but we're still waiting 4 years on”

The local authority have carried out minor works on the access area ahead of this year’s swim week, as in previous years, but the Community Council are looking for permanent remediation.

In a statement to the East Cork Journal cork County Council has stated that they “have recently investigated the route to the beach and found the public roads in the area to be satisfactory.

They were recently adequately resurfaced and awaiting lining.

Where any relevant event is organised by a community group a traffic management assessment and management plan may be required and should provide for ensuring that vehicles are not allowed to park in a manner which creates risks of obstruction to emergency vehicles.

Where any event results in attendance exceeding the capacity of the venue or facilities and so creating any unacceptable level of risk, consideration should be given by those organising the event to finding a more suitable venue if the risk cannot be mitigated by reasonable or practicable means.”

 

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