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The question is often put as to why Irish people lack confidence on the beach.
Our pale skin tones and our tendency to be a bit flabby in comparison with our European neighbours inevitably cause inferiority complexes when it comes to togging off on a sunny day. However it wasn’t body shape or skin tone that had me and my friends embarrassed last Wednesday.
On a rare beach day myself, my young brood and some friends visited the Dock beach in Kinsale. Our excitement was quenched the second we arrived. The rough seas during the previous week had dumped an unsightly swathe of seaweed all over the beach. What we found unnatural was that in the height of the tourist season, Cork County Council felt it okay to leave the seaweed rot all over the place.
The few people who braved the mounds of fly-infested seaweed to get to the shoreline were mainly foreign holiday makers and young families. At least here the tide had obliged Cork County Council by clearing a small section of the strand to reveal the beautiful white sand beneath.
I was acutely embarrassed. The look on tourists’ faces said it all, the look of people who have spent a lot of money going to a country that is pretty, but where people do not know how to take care of it. Looking at Ireland through their eyes would you want to visit here? I wouldn’t.
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