*Public consultation on the plans ended last month. 

BYE-LAWS have been adopted to prohibit overnight camping on roads and public places in Lisdoonvarna plus the Loop Head Lighthouse car park.

Revised bye-laws by Clare County Council were passed by elected members of the West Clare Municipal District on Tuesday which will ban overnight camping on roads and public places of Lisdoonvarna plus the lighthouse car park in Loop Head while the beach car-park bye-laws for Doughmore Beach were also adopted.

Public consultation on the plans concluded on June 14th with nine submissions received, eight of which were in relation to Lisdoonvarna.

Proposing the adoption of the bye-laws, Cllr Joe Garrihy (FG) stated that it recognised the “many years” of discomfort experienced. “The carry on that has gone over the years has been really difficult for residents with abandonment for a month to six weeks of campervans outside people’s doors”. He suggested the areas covering the extent of the town speed limit out to the Ballyvaughan Rd and Doolin Rd also be covered.

Lisdoonvarna based Garrihy added, “The question is on moving it on, it is absolutely desirable, I would hope we could work with the Municipal District in looking at surveying the environment, there is a proposed alternative, it is possible the community car park, the proposal will have unintended consequences if we don’t provide the realistic and achievable alternative but overall I welcome the initiative by the Council taking the step, it is not a silver bullet”. The community car park could potentially be ready in time for September, he advised.

Seconding the adoption, Cllr Shane Talty (FF) commented, “The unintended consequences are obvious, you will have spill over from main street and the square and they will turn up elsewhere”. He added, “To a certain extent that point carries wherever you go, you’re going to move these vehicles from one area into another”.

Sensitive areas could be abused for overnight camping, Cllr Cillian Murphy (FF) flagged. “How do we preclude from not parking on the carpark and parking just off the car park, is there legislation in place for us to prevent someone literally driving full whack onto the grass, I’m all in favour of it don’t get me wrong, it’s not like in Lisdoonvarna where it is finite and there is a space here, there’s potential for tents, it’s a flat landscape, unless we do something to stop cars and vans accessing the green area, it’s a very sensitive habitat”. He warned, “we’re building a problem elsewhere” and detailed that between sixty and seventy car homes could not be parking overnight in Kilkee.

Unintended consequences must also form part of the thinking when drafting such plans, Cllr Joe Killeen (FF) flagged. “They’ll end up in the middle of the Burren, you have to have an alternative, we’ve put the cart before the horse and saying you can’t park here”. Campervan and motorhome owners must be producing some form of revenue to benefit the county to help generate employment, he said.

Enforcing overnight parking in Loop Head was questioned by Cllr Gabriel Keating (FG) with Council officials acknowledging that “unless there is double yellow lines or if you’re seen to be interfering with traffic” persons will be let park on the side of the road. “Are you bringing Gardaí back to Loop Head to move campervans,” he asked at this week’s sitting of the West Clare MD. He recalled proposing a campervan site in the Peninsula a decade ago and was worried their departure would lead to a reduction in revenue for West Clare.

Director of Services, Leonard Cleary said, “Separate to this there is some research ongoing on overnight camping, elected members will be aware of the recent research study from sites in other counties, we’re not prohibiting without planning to have an actual solution to displace vehicles, there is a lot of work going on in relation to that and you will be briefed separately, we would hope to implement tourism related solutions”.

Management rather than prohibition needs to be the way in which it is communicated to the public, Cllr Murphy advised. He added, “I have no problem with the adoption, I am just raising that there will be a fallout”. He continued, “as they are, they are fine, there is merit in identifying and allocating a number of spots in Kilrush that are suitable, have an overnight fee and it is that simple, €15 a night”.

Senior executive officer in the West Clare MD, John O’Malley highlighted that there was commercial opportunities in the area of such sites. “We’re struggling to get resources and keep people moving in these places. We need to drive on with it and pull the team together, there is a commercial opportunity here, by forcing them out it might force commercial opportunists to open up facilities”.

Cathaoirleach of the West Clare MD, Cllr Ian Lynch (IND) stressed, “This is about managing the fall out and not a case of not welcoming people in the county. We’re a tourist county, we’re trying to manage it and make sure we’re open for business”.

Appeals were then made unsuccessfully by Cllr Keating to allow motorhomes stay in Loop Head but he was reminded the sufficient facilities did not exist in the area.

Related News

fiona levie holly cairns 1
Social Democrats leader confident party can win seats on Clare County Council
bothar mor shannon
Efforts to improve public lighting 'too slow' in Shannon
shannon airport front
60 year old Portuguese woman appears in court over €484k cannabis seizure at Shannon Airport
ennis st patrick's day parade 17-03-24 cathal crowe 1
'Inevitable' that Mid-West will get another emergency department says Clare TD
Latest News
shannon airport front
60 year old Portuguese woman appears in court over €484k cannabis seizure at Shannon Airport
meadow flowers spring
Blossoms on the Go's second tip for April
ennis st patrick's day parade 17-03-24 cathal crowe 1
'Inevitable' that Mid-West will get another emergency department says Clare TD
ennistymon v st breckans 13-04-24 joey rouine cathal morgan 1
Ennistymon & St Joseph's Miltown stay unbeaten in Cusack Cup
centra clarecastle 1
Two males & one woman injured following assault in Clarecastle store
Premium
shannon md office crash 27-04-22 3
'Young drivers the problem' claim councillors as efforts made to put road safety on curriculum
broadford village
'No shovels will be in the ground in Broadford or Cooraclare by next election' predicts Clare TD
bridge utd v kilrush rangers 20-08-22 ronan tuohy 1
Three of four semi-final places claimed in Clare Cup
mid west hospital campaign 21-05-22 18 marie mcmahon
Measures announced by Health Minister are 'sticking plasters'
bothár na rinne shannon town centre
Shannon man who survived murder attempt escapes jail for carryng around Stanley knife for own protection

Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

Scroll to Top