Swimming bans lifted at beaches in Kerry and Clare

Swimming bans lifted at beaches in Kerry and Clare

Swimming bans have been lifted at a number of beaches in County Clare and County Kerry.

The two Kerry beaches closed to swimmers at a popular seaside resort earlier this week have re-opened, Kerry County Council have said in a statement this lunchtime.

Swimming at Ballybunion, one of the southwest’s most scenic and sheltered beaches had been placed off-limits after high levels of the dangerous e.coli bacteria associated with animal and human faeces or a combination showed up on Monday.

However further tests during the week have shown up clear and as a result, the swimming prohibition notices at Ballybunion North and South Beaches are being removed today with immediate effect.

The council thanked the public for “their patience and co-operation” in observing the signage at the beach.

There has been a series of closures of beaches throughout the length of the Kerry coastline - the county has the most blue flag beaches in the country - this summer. All have been linked to weather events, particularly high rainfall.

In July no bathing signs erected on two beaches at Waterville, Cromane Dingle Bay for brief periods, again after dangerous bacteria showed up in the waters.

However, Ballybunion were the first blue flag beaches affected.

The high levels of rain flushed bacteria from land and holding tanks and other sources into the sea. In Waterville, in July a pumping station failed after struck by lightning during a thunderstorm and there were fears the water might be contaminated.

Kerry County Council insists that what is occurring this summer is normal at times of high rainfall, saying the "impact of catchments at times of high rainfall on bathing water quality is a common occurrence at this time of year associated with heavy rainfall ".

The council carries out testing of designated bathing waters during the bathing season from June to September.

Meanwhile in County Clare, a swimming ban has been lifted at Lahinch beach.

Bathing restrictions had been put in place by the County Council earlier this week after increased levels of bacteria were found in the water.

It was caused by excessive rainfall in recent weeks and the runoff from Lahinch Bay.

Clare County Council lifted the restrictions this afternoon on the advice of the HSE.

- Additional reporting by Digital Desk

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