Bathing restrictions have been placed on three popular beaches on the rugged Beara Peninsula.
As forecasters predicted one of the hottest days of the year yesterday, Cork County Council placed bathing restriction notices at Pallas Strand in Eyeries, Trahallan in Castletownbere, and Traverra at Urhan, outside Eyeries.
Water-quality tests carried out on Tuesday revealed elevated levels of bacteria in the water resulting in a bathing restriction notice from the HSE.
The likely cause, according to the council, is run-off from the surrounding hinterland and waste water infrastructure due to heavy rain.
“It’s unfortunate as this is the time of year that people want to enjoy themselves in the water. Cork County Council are doing daily checks out there to monitor for any improvements. Whatever the issue is, until it’s resolved, it’s not safe for people to swim in these places,” said Cllr Michael Collins (Ind).
The beach at Trahallan, where water-safety classes take place during the summer, is the only public strand in Castletownbere. Modernisation and storm-protection works were carried out at Trahallan last year. Pallas Strand serves as an access point for the local mussel industry, while a new playground opened recently at Traverra in Urhan.
The restrictions leave just one local beach open to bathers on the western end of the Beara Peninsula — Ballydonegan in Allihies.
Council notices advise bathers to avoid swallowing or splashing water, to wash hands before handling food, and avoid swimming with an open wound.
Pregnant women and those with a weakened immune system are advised to avoid swimming in affected areas.
The restrictions will affect locals seeking relief from the heat and visiting tourists to the western end of the remote Beara Peninsula.
Bathing restriction notices will remain in place until the quality of the water is deemed satisfactory, according to the local authority.
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