A ban on swimming in one of Co Cork’s premier beaches has been lifted, much to the relief of local businesses relying heavily on tourism.
Cork County Council removed the bathing ban at the Front Strand in Youghal yesterday afternoon after tests revealed E.coli bacteria levels had fallen to safe levels.
Meanwhile, three beaches in West Cork were also given the all-clear yesterday after health advisory notices had been posted.
The beach in Youghal had been closed last weekend after officials from the council’s environment directorate detected excessive levels of the bacteria in the sea water.
Heavy rain showers a few days previously, it is believed, had washed slurry into the River Blackwater which found its way into Youghal Bay.
A council spokesman said full results of investigative sampling had been received, showing “Youghal Front Strand is now back in compliance with the bathing water regulations”.
After consultation with the HSE the council then removed the bathing prohibition signs.
Cllr Mary Linehan-Foley (Ind) said the lifting of the ban came as a great relief, especially ahead of the August Bank Holiday weekend, traditionally the busiest time of the year for Youghal’s businesses.
“It’s also a great relief to everybody. We were all missing the beach and it looked very lonely on the Front Strand for the last few days.”
She said she had put out notices on Facebook advising her friends to let everybody know that they could now swim safely in the area.
“We want to let everybody know that Youghal is fully open for business,” the councillor said.
Meanwhile, the county council said health advisory notices had also been lifted at The Warren, Tragumna and Barleycove beaches. They have been in place since last Friday following fears E.coli levels could rise above permitted levels at the three beaches.
This was prompted by concerns that slurry would get washed into the sea from nearby farmland following warnings of thunderstorms.
The council had advised people that if they wanted to go swimming there they shouldn’t splash around or ingest the water.
Pregnant women and people with low immune systems were also advised against swimming.
The spokesman said latest tests at the beaches showed excellent water quality.
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