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‘Unacceptable conditions’ at Fanore Beach despite Council review

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Conditions at Fanore Beach remain ‘unacceptable’ despite the completion of a review and management report at the site by Clare County Council’s environment section.

Former councillor Bill Slattery (FG) described the area as “a warzone” when he called for the replacement of wooden steps on the approach to the beach last March. A response at the time from Cyril Feeney noted that its beach and management report was being reviewed by the environment section of the local authority.

Insufficient progress had been made prompting Cllr Shane Talty (FF) to table a motion at last month’s meeting of the West Clare Municipal District. He requested an update on the review “as promised in March 2019”. Talty asked, “When will the damaged fencing posts and wire be removed and replaced. Access to the beach needs to be addressed as the timber steps are in a terrible state of repair”.

Feeney in a written response stated that “a number of recommendations with respect to the existing fencing and stairway access”. The senior engineer of the Council’s environment and water service said that the stairway was rebuilt in time for the 2019 bathing season “and is still in an excellent state of repair” which diluted the need for further plans on stairway access.

Dunes at Fanore Beach are part of the Murroogh area dunes which are included in the Blackhead to Poulsallagh special area of conservation. Consultation has taken place with National Parks and Wildlife Services (NPWS) regarding the replacing of fencing “in line with the report recommendations”. Council officials were awaiting response from NPWS.

Complaints relating to Fanore Beach “is not a new issue,” Cllr Talty highlighted. He felt more could be done to improve its appearance. The postmaster maintained that the distance between the steps and the special area of conversation was too big to warrant improvement to the steps, “the appearance of the fencing is not acceptable”.

“Fences that have fallen down can be put back up without permission from National Park and Wildlife Services,” Cllr Joe Garrihy (FG) commented. He told Council officials that he expected the fencing damaged in recent storms would be put back up. Director of Service, Leonard Cleary acknowledged that damage to Fanore Beach from Storm Jorge was “quite extensive”.

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, TheJournal.ie and The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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