The practice of “wild camping” is “illegal” and detrimental to the economic survival of registered caravan sites, councillors in Lismore and Dungarvan, Co Waterford have warned.
At a municipal district council, Pat Nugent strongly protested that 30 to 40 camper vans had “blocked up” the Lookout car park — a scenic spot overlooking Dungarvan Harbour — during the recent Seán Kelly cycle tour of Munster.
The councillor said the camper van owners should instead have availed of “fantastic facilities” at two caravan parks at Clonea Strand.
His concerns were echoed by councillor Tom Cronin, who cited similar issues in Ardmore, where camper vans had allegedly “blocked access to the beach” in defiance of no-parking signs.
He said camp site owners “pay serious rates and serious development charges” and it was totally wrong that camper vans were being parked all over the place.
Senior executive engineer Pat McCarthy said the council had received “many complaints” and legislation was being reviewed to establish consistent bylaws across Waterford city and county.
Colin McCarthy, honorary secretary of Phoenix Motorhome Club, one of Ireland’s largest motor home associations, said the councillors’ views “represent people who have no understanding of how motor homes can operate independent of camp sites”.
He referred to “the success” of 12 zoned motor home parking berths on Cobh’s quayside and said motor homes have the same EU vehicle category as cars and can park similarly.