NEWS

Call for public consultation into swimming ban at Donegal beach

Public must have their say on no bathing rule at Tullan Strand, councillor says

Michael Daly

Reporter:

Michael Daly

Community erects sign warning of dangerous rip current at Donegal beach

A sign the local community erected at Tullan Strand, Bundoran.

There is local concern in Bundoran about a “blank no bathing” recommendation made recently for Tullan Strand, a local councillor has claimed.
Cllr Barry O'Neill said it would appear that a recommendation from coroner Dr. Denis McCauley, following an inquest into the death of Cpl Gavin Carey at Tullan Strand in July 2016, has been accepted as the status quo.
He asked: “Is Donegal County Council just going to implement the recommendation?”
Cllr O'Neill feels there is much ground to cover before this is the case and he wants all the stakeholders and the general public to have a say in any final decision to close the beach to bathers.
“What is in the coroner's report is basically a recommendation. Is Donegal County Council just going to implement the recommendation? There is a concern in the local community about the 'blank no bathing' recommendation,” he said.
Outlining the process before any such decision would be arrived at, including the need for a by-law to be introduced, he said there would have to be public consultation.
The councillors , the county council, the Irish Defence Forces, Irish Water Safety and the general public should all have a role or say, he stated.

Irish Water Safety
Referencing the Irish Water Safety study which also recommended the beach not be used for bathing, he said the planned renewal of public access to the beach by Donegal County Council and the consultation with stakeholders on the use of the beach for bathing or otherwise, should go “hand-in-hand”.
He repeated his call for the community to be involved and it was his view that once the process was completed, it would be a matter for the members of the Municipal District to decide on the future of bathing at Tullan Strand.
Cllr O'Neill, who was speaking at Tuesday's Municipal District meeting, asked that an update on progress to open public access to the beach be made available for their next meeting as this was also a much talked about local issue.