Dublin Beaches: A wake -up call to Government

 

On May 17th I raised in the Dail the shocking report which revealed a high level of contamination at some of Dublin’s popular beaches.

Yesterday swimming bans were put in place at three beaches in Dublin. Last month, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a damning report on water quality in respect of five beaches in north and south Dublin which failed to meet minimum EU water quality standards. The May report highlighted a further five beaches all in north County Dublin, also at risk.

In a region with hundreds of thousands of families and children, we are coming into summer and famous beaches such as the north beach in Rush, Merrion Strand and Sandymount Strand and others are at risk of becoming permanently closed if they continue to fail to meet EU water quality requirements.

Last month when I raised this with the Tanaiste his reply showed a shocking complacenc, even indifference on the part of the Government to the problem. All he could say was that overall Irish beaches apart from Dublin had received a clean bill of health.  He was unable to give a clear commitment to act quickly on the health danger to which families who use some Dublin beaches are exposed.

Water contamination is a genuine health risk to those who swim at polluted beaches and it is a basic responsibility of the public authorities to take early remedial action.