A STARK warning that someone will drown in Lahinch unless more lifeguards are employed by the local authority on sunny weekends has been issued by two Green Party representatives.

It follows an incident at the weekend where a young teenager was rescued in what has been described as a near-miss with local surfers coming to his aid after he had been pulled to sea.

Senator Roisin Garvey (GP) and Cllr Liam Grant (GP) have both issued a warning to Clare County Council that there will be drownings in Lahinch unless additional lifeguards are hired on busy sunny weekends at the popular coastal spot. The Council will have 48 lifeguards on duty for summer 2024.

Extra revenue generated from parking fees at beachside locations should be put back into hiring more lifeguards, Senator Garvey said. “There have been several rescues carried out in Lahinch by surfers. One person was out at sea for 20 minutes before he was rescued. Lifeguards don’t get paid much so I’m sure the extra money from parking on busy sunny days would more than cover the cost in case the Council are wondering where they would get the money”.

Inagh native Roisin added, “I raised this issue in the Seanad almost four years ago when I spoke about the need to expand the supply of lifeguards at our beaches due to lengthening of the bathing season. My colleague Liam Grant has been very vocal on this issue also. The Council, at the time, did listen and increased the number of lifeguards on duty and extended lifeguard supervision to weekends in September and June. We knew the sunny days were coming and we need to act now prevent drownings. We cannot leave beach water safety to just the brave and willing surfers who might happen to be around. We need action on this before someone loses a life”.

Cllr Grant who was formerly employed as a lifeguard with Clare County Council told The Clare Echo, “Since joining the Council I’ve got the lifeguard season extended to include weekdays in June and the last two weekends in May. We are the first and only county in the country to do this so I’m happy with the progress so far. However, when you look at the UK, many of their beaches are lifeguarded from Easter until the end of September, I think that’s the benchmark we need to set ourselves. More and more people are swimming and surfing outside of the summer months and we need to keep up with the times. I believe that the lifeguards are the best value service that the Council provides and a good use of taxpayers money. I’ve no doubt that continuing to extend the lifeguard season will save lives in the future”.

He added, “Having worked as a lifeguard myself for Clare County Council myself I know the difference it can make to have lifeguards on duty. Not just to perform rescues but also give information to avoid anything happening, treat minor incidents like weaver fish stings or help with lost children”.

In a statement to The Clare Echo, a spokesperson for the County Council said, “We are glad that the children in question were safely rescued from the beach at Lahinch over the weekend The beach was not lifeguarded last weekend as the lifeguard service has not yet commenced for the 2024 season. However, the incident does highlight the dangers of swimming in certain sea conditions, and in particular when there are no lifeguards on duty”.

According to the local authority, “It is not practicable to have a year-round lifeguard service. The sea conditions on the west coast of Ireland from late autumn, winter and on through spring are not conducive to delivering a safe and consistent lifeguarded swimming activity.
Daylight hours, visibility and temperature are also greatly reduced during the winter and spring months. There are also issues regarding water quality testing which complements and informs the lifeguard service. The availability of lifeguards would also be a major factor. Our lifeguards are typically drawn from a student cohort who are only available for the summer months. We are not aware of any local authority which provides a year-round lifeguard service”.

Clare’s lifeguard service for its beaches and Green Coaches is as follows:
May – Weekends (18th & 19th ) and ( May 25th & 26th ) – Lifeguard service at Lahinch, Spanish Point, Kilkee & Fanore

1st June – Full-time lifeguards at Lahinch, Spanish Pt, Fanore & Kilkee, 7 days, 11am-7pm
June Weekends – White Strand Miltown Malbay, Doonbeg, Cappagh, Ballyallia, Mountshannon and Killaloe. Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday 11-7pm

July & August – Lahinch, Spanish Pt, Fanore, Kilkee, White Strand Miltown Malbay, Doonbeg, Cappagh, Ballyallia, Mountshannon, Killaloe, Seafield and Bishopsquarter. 7 days, 11-7pm.
September – Weekends (7th & 8th) and (14th & 15th) Lahinch, Spanish Pt, Fanore, Kilkee, White Strand Miltown Malbay, Doonbeg, Cappagh, Mountshannon, Killaloe.

Related News

le24 election count david griffin antoinette baker bashua 1
Baker Bashua says strong candidates will try change minds of Ennis 2040 supporters
le24 election count michael shannon 2
Shannon grabs the opportunity with both hands to be a voice for West Clare
cranny cross
TII moving 'phenomenally slow' to make Cranny Cross safer
CE5084D3-5775-4CAD-A968-58EAD56F032B
Scariff Bay answers London’s Call in broadcasting first for station
Latest News
court seat
Judge warns of 'threats of Tik-Tok' as he directs man to delete all photos and videos of ex-girlfriend from his mobile phone
le24 election count david griffin antoinette baker bashua 1
Baker Bashua says strong candidates will try change minds of Ennis 2040 supporters
le24 election count michael shannon 2
Shannon grabs the opportunity with both hands to be a voice for West Clare
cranny cross
TII moving 'phenomenally slow' to make Cranny Cross safer
CE5084D3-5775-4CAD-A968-58EAD56F032B
Scariff Bay answers London’s Call in broadcasting first for station
Premium
le24 election mary howard 2
The Electoral Chair: Ennis Municipal District the final outcome analysed
michael mcnamara 1
McNamara 'overwhelmed' by huge Clare vote & doesn't rule out future General Election run
le24 election tommy guilfoyle 1
Guilfoyle pledges to be a socialist republican brand of councillor
donie garrihy pat sweeney 1 (1)
'We're living in a death trap' - Doolin residents warn of further fatalities
avenue utd vs newmarket celtic 25-05-24 darragh leahy nnabuike nneji 1
50 game ban for Newmarket Celtic’s Leahy

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