Kerry beaches face security crackdown, council warns

A CONTINUING crackdown was pledged yesterday on any likely hooliganism and illegal camping this summer on Kerry beaches.

Over the bank holiday, alone, 11 on-the-spot fines were handed out to offenders by a beach warden.

Unruly and drunken behaviour on beaches in the Maharees on the Dingle peninsula, during the holiday weekend led to further local concerns.

Kerry mayor Michael Healy-Rae warned yesterday it was time for firm action.

“Our environment section is very active in some issues, but takes no action on other issues. I’m now asking that staff be directed to have illegal camping dealt with,” he said.

“The problem was bad last year but it’s even worse this year, already. Illegal camping is causing problems for local people in the Maharees.”

The council’s director of environment Anne Haugh agreed there were problems with illegal camping, particularly in the Maharees. Eleven on-the-spot fines had been issued, at the weekend, she said.

Most of the behaviour she said was drink-fuelled and had created difficulties which could not have been dealt with, without the help of Gardaí. “We will be working closely with the Gardaí,” she said.

Ms Haugh said the council’s beach warden was particularly active on the three days of the bank holiday weekend, spending time in Inch, the Maharees, Banna and Ballyheigue.

She said problems in Inch related to quad bikes as well as cars on the beach.

Quad bikes regularly appear on the beach and sand dunes at Inch which was also a favourite haunt of “boy racers”.

South Kerry Independent Alliance councillor Michael Gleeson suggested quad bike owners were “just laughing” at the council and suggested they should be pursued through the courts.

Cllr Dan Kiely, meanwhile, claimed camper vans parked on access roads to beaches in Ballybunion were causing huge problems.

Kerry has 13 Blue Flag beaches and the council is engaged in an ongoing effort to ensure the high standards necessary to retain the flags are maintained.

Kerry’s first beach warden was appointed last year.


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