The locals swept up almost 50 large bin-size bags of rubbish left by litter-louts on the beach which incredibly doesn’t have a single waste-bin.
Volunteer youngsters spent five hours gathering waste on Saturday on a two-kilometre stretch of Rossnowlagh Beach after thousands of users, mainly from Northern Ireland, left rubbish scattered there during the recent fine weather spell.
Donegal County Council’s refusal to place a single bin on the beach until next month – when lifeguards take up duty for the Summer - was described as crazy.
The volunteers, organised by a local surf club and staff from a beach-side four-star hotel, couldn’t even get the council to take away the collected bin-bags yesterday(Sun). They were left piled out of view in a local businessman’s back-yard.
Rossnowlagh surf club secretary Dara O’Malley Daly, who organised the massive collection, said: “We couldn’t even raise anybody at the council to get the rubbish removed. It will be the beginning of the week before that happens.”
He added: “What’s unbelievable is there isn’t a single bin along the whole length of the beach. It has been attracting hundreds of families and surfers the last few weeks. Despite signs erected by locals asking visitors to please take their rubbish home the litter has been piling up.
“Some of it can be quite dangerous – especially beer cans and bottles and discarded tinfoil barbecue packages. People can be injured by those when they are half-buried in the sand.
“A lot of the litter is swept out on tides into Donegal Bay and swept onto other beaches. It’s an environmental hazard.”
Mr O’Malley Daly said local youngsters were rounded up for the collection to demonstrate to them how not to behave on the beach. He added: “They were marvellous volunteers.
“But the fact is that there would be no need for them if the visitors would simply bring home their rubbish.”
Cars and jeeps are allowed to park on the beach and families set up picnic tables behind them.
Local Fine Gael councillor Barry O’Neill, who aims to raise the problem at an electoral area meeting of south Donegal councillors on Thursday this week, said: “Of course people should bring home their litter, but what’s really crazy is it’s the most popular beach in the north-west and there isn’t a single litter-bin there.
“For whatever reason Donegal County Council doesn’t put them there until June every year when the life-guards start for the Summer.
“There is also a problem with beach-traders. Last weekend there were 12 chip-vans and ice-cream vans there. You can trade from a mobile shop in this county for up to four hours at a time. All you have to do is move a few metres along the beach and you can start your second four-hour stint.
“What’s really annoying is the vans are nearly all from Northern Ireland so they are not paying anything into the Republic’s exchequer.”