The packed beach at Rossnowlagh on Sunday. Photo Valerie McCrea
Rossnowlagh beach has been described as resembling a “landfill” after last weekend’s influx of visitors.
On Sunday last there was an estimated 5,000 visitors on the beach. Local councillors have complained that a trail of rubbish was left behind, including bottles, cans, barbecues and sanitary items Even deck chairs and items of clothing were found discarded.
Problems were further exacerbated with a lack of refuse bins, a lack of traffic management, a shortage of toilets, no lifeguards and the presence of boy racers on the beach in the later hours.
Cllr Niamh Kennedy, chairperson of the Donegal Municipal District, visited the beach on Tuesday evening. “I am absolutely disgusted that after two days that all this rubbish is still here,” she said.
Becoming a health hazard
“It is simply like a landfill and to be honest it is now becoming a health hazard. I raised the issue at our monthly meeting and was assured that the rubbish would be collected and four bins would be provided, but this has not happened by Tuesday evening.
“This problem was not confined to Rossnowlagh. I have also had reports from Bundoran and Fintra. In the case of Fintra, had we not had three local volunteers we would be in the same situation.
“I think it is high time that we stopped believing in our own publicity and gloating that we are the coolest place in the planet,” she said. “If we are to maintain this reputation we have to change our whole mindset and learn to respect what we have.”
Above, typical of what was found on the beach on Monday.
Locals have become so frustrated that they are now considering blocking access to the beach if the situation continues, one local woman said.
“It is as simple as parking a car at all access points, but this would be a last resort.” she said.
Neil Britton who runs the local Fin McCool's Surf School said: “This story is as predictable as the tide - same story, different year and nothing is being done about it. We are not looking to be spoon fed - we are just looking for the basics to help us keep the beach right - we actually live here.”
See also page 29.