Problems exist in Lahinch with regard to rubbish and dog droppings according to Cllr Bill Slattery.
At the July meeting of the West Clare Municipal District, Cllr Slattery requested Clare County Council “employ an additional General Operative for the duration of the tourist season in Lahinch” and to provide more bins.
Acting Senior Executive Engineer, Morgan Lahiffe stated that an extra General Operative is reassigned from the roadworks crew already during the busy summer months, making the decision to do so is “demand based and weather based, Clare County Council is currently assessing a proposal to install two bins on Main Street, Lahinch on a season basis”.
Cllr Slattery told The Clare Echo he was far from pleased with the reply. “If they do put two bins on the main street on Lahinch they’re not adequate, we want two bins on each side of the main street and we want extra bins on the promenade and we want another General Operative to clean the bins on a regular basis and shift work to be provided so there’s one in the morning and one in the evening”. Ten years ago he and Donogh O’Loughlin sponsored the installation of bins but they were removed in recent years, Slattery said.
Lahinch’s main street is not the only spot with a shortage of bins according to the Fine Gael councillor who surveyed the promenade earlier this week. “There are no bins whatsoever on the old part by O’Looneys up to the Miltown Malbay road no bin whatsoever and the bins on the new part of the promenade in Lahinch are all clustered around the lifeguard station, there is no bin for a third of the promenade from the lifeguard station to the last exit, people are coming off the beach when they come up with nappies or anything at all they bring it away from the beach but when they come up there’s no place to put them in and they’re not bringing them home there’s no place to put them on the promenade and that’s going to cause other problems”.
Rubbish isn’t the only item being left behind at the beach, Slattery said. “I brought up the need for extra pooper scoops, there are only two on the promenade, a dog owner goes in and walks his or her dog to the Liscannor Rd bridge and there’s no pooper scooper or bin down at the bottom to discard what they have picked up from their dog and some of that is discarded at the beach on the rocks and I’m afraid that could cause other problems so I’m asking for extra pooper scoopers and I’m very disappointed the council haven’t seen the influx of people coming into Lahinch for the last couple of years with surfers and the whole lot that we need basic facilities especially when they’re paying the car parking charges which take in an average of €175,000 in the last four years per year and we still can’t get the basic facilities”.
Prior to submitting the motion, he studied areas of Ennis and is adamant Lahinch is not getting the same treatment. “From Ulster Bank to the Old Ground, there are nine bins on the left hand side of the street and none on the right hand side, that’s only a third of the length of the carpark in Lahinch, I went out to Ballyalla Lake which is also a fraction of the distance of the length of the promenade, there are eight bins and eight nice bins, more modern than what we have in Lahinch and I’m looking for a bin with a smaller opening that no more than a large bottle of water or coke or plastics can fit into them to stop what they’re saying is domestic waste being put into them”.
In order to make a better impression on tourists, Lahinch should have the same quality of facilities as Salthill, Cllr Slattery outlined. “Some people are being very good at taking their rubbish home but there’s certain people not doing that, those people are going to continue leaving it there. If the bins were there they would put it in the bins, the dog owners have been very good since the new bylaws came in they are picking up the droppings and they are trying to discard them. If you compare Lahinch with Salthill, Salthill is spotless they’ve bins, pooper scoopers there’s everything in Salthill and in a place like Lahinch which is very popular we can’t get the basic facilities and they’re taking in the charges in the promenade and the parking charges”.