Swim­ming area in Bal­ly­cot­ton closed as dan­ger high­lighted

Irish Examiner - County - - Front page - Sean O’Rior­dan

A pop­u­lar swim­ming area in Bal­ly­cot­ton has been per­ma­nently closed to the pub­lic af­ter a report high­lighted that it is very dan­ger­ous.

The ‘par­adise’ swim­ming area was closed af­ter con­cerns were raised with the coun­cil’s Wa­ter Safety De­vel­op­ment Of­fi­cer and the mat­ter was re­ferred to Ir­ish Wa­ter Safety.

County coun­cil of­fi­cials said that, through Ir­ish Wa­ter Safety, a risk as­sess­ment report was car­ried out by a mem­ber of the In­ter­na­tional Life­sav­ing Fed­er­a­tion of Europe (ILSE). The report de­scribed the ac­cess as “very dan­ger­ous and un­suit­able for use” and with­out com­plete re­con­struc­tion of the step struc­ture, de­scribed as ‘’in it­self a dan­ger­ous task’’, rec­om­mended that the ac­cess to the pub­lic be per­ma­nently closed to the pub­lic and the erec­tion of ad­di­tional sig­nage to em­pha­sise the dan­ger.

The report fur­ther ad­vised that mo­bile phone cov­er­age is al­most non-ex­is­tent at this lo­ca­tion and that in the event of an emer­gency only heli­copter res­cue would be pos­si­ble.

The landowner was in­formed and ad­vised that the Coun­cil is to put up warn­ing signs and fenc­ing at the cliff walk in this vicin­ity to in­form mem­bers of the pub­lic of the haz­ards/risks iden­ti­fied in the risk as­sess­ment report.

Cllr Danielle Twomey said it is “very re­gret­table that the par­adise swim­ming area in Bal­ly­cot­ton has been closed off by Cork County Coun­cil,” al­though she con­ceded that from a safety point of view it is com­pletely un­der­stand­able: “The safety of con­stituents is of ut­most im­por­tance. I feel that al­though bar­ri­ers have been erected that peo­ple may still try to ac­cess the area and I would ad­vise peo­ple not to do this. The step­ping stones have been re­moved mak­ing ac­cess im­pos­si­ble. I have many fond child­hood memories from this spot and I hope that the landowner will con­sider re­open­ing it in the fu­ture with the suf­fi­cient safety mea­sures in place for the pub­lic.”

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