Port Arthur beach
The Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council (DCC) has urged the council to address the issue of caravans parking alongside one of the most scenic beaches in Donegal.
Councillors say they have received calls from local people who 'were angry' that up to 16 caravans had parked beside Port Arthur beach in Gaoth Dobhair during the last number of weeks.
The issue came to the fore in 2014 when over sixty caravans had parked beside the beach.
There is no designated area for caravans to park or tents to be erected at the popular Gaeltacht beach.
A meeting took place to discuss the issue
A meeting was held back in 2014 and a local committee 'Coiste Forbartha Port Arthur' was established.
The committee had signs erected informing people not to camp at the beach.
These signs are located at the top of the road which leads to the beach.
However, in recent weeks caravans returned to the beach and members of the local community contacted local councillors complaining about their arrival.
The matter was raised at the Glenties Municipal District Meeting last week and again this week during a Strategic Policy Committee (SPC) meeting which was held on Monday.
The Cathaoirleach of DCC, Séamus Ó'Domhnaill said: “I have since had discussions with county officials in the planning department and I have asked them to go out and sort the problem at Port Arthur beach.”
He said he was of the opinion that the area on which the caravans are parked was a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) which comes under the remit of a Natura 2000 site and therefore is governed by bylaws.
“It is my opinion that Donegal County Council have to step up to the mark on this one,” he said.
Cathaoirleach urges council to act
Meanwhile, the Cathaoirleach of Glenties Municipal District, John Sheamais Ó'Fearraigh urged the council to act.
Cllr Ó'Fearraigh said it was important that the council stand with the community on this issue.
“The community is unhappy. We had the same issue here a number of years ago. There is a lot of anger. People from the community have contacted me. We need to stand with the community,” he said.
Both councillors and Donegal County Council officials have commended the ‘diligent’ committee for the ‘hard work’ they have carried out at the beach since it was established.
Meanwhile, Donegal County Council issued a statement to this newspaper saying: “Donegal County Council is aware of this matter and our Planning Enforcement Office is currently investigating same.”