Public beach the focus of major row

This article is from page 13 of the 2012-07-31 edition of The Clare People. OCR mistakes are to be expected so download the original SWF or the rendered page 13 JPG

A MAJOR row has er upted in Nor th Clare over plans by Clare Count y Council to excavate stones from a public beach just nor th of Lahinch.

A local woman has blasted what she has labelled “illegal” plans to privatise a section of Cregg Beach, while a local representative has tabled a motion before Clare County Council that the works be carried out “to allow public access to the beach”.

The stand-off sparked by the oneperson protest waged by Maura Lehane has resulted in work at the beach – which lies at the southern end of Lahinch on the Miltown Malbay road – being halted.

Excavation work began on Saturday, July 21 at Cregg Beach at the southern end of Lahinch village.

“I saw what was happening,” revealed Ms Lehane.

“The excavation of the sea stones was going on for a considerable length of time and I could see a visible difference.

“A machine driver was using a track machine to alter the course of the River Moy and, if this work continued, it would have resulted in the flow of the river running through the centre of the beach. I could see that if this work was allowed to continue, the southern part of Cregg Beach would be lost to the public – at least half the beach would be privatised,” she added

“It is a contentious issue,” admitted local councillor, Bill Slattery (FG) “and it is one that has to be resolved. What was being done was to provide access for the general public to the beach.

“The work has now been stopped and it is gone back to the county council and the engineers will deal with it.

“This work has to be done to allow the public have access to the beach and this has to be resolved,” added Cllr Slattery.

“That fact that there was no engineer or safety officer on site or any signs of warning of work on the beach shocked me, not to mention the untold damage they have done to our beautiful beach,”said Ms Lehane.

“I am aghast that our beautiful coastline would be touched to such a degree.

“It is imperative that this situation is rectified immediately and the beach returned to its natural state,” she added.

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