Barleycove beach still without pontoon and public access

June 2nd, 2022 6:30 PM

By Jackie Keogh

The pontoon has since been moved away altogether, leaving no public access to the beach. (Photo: Liam Wilcox)

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THE public has been warned not to attempt to access Barleycove beach until the pontoon has been reinstated.

With the pontoon, which provides access from the car park to the beach, still out of action after it was damaged during a tidal surge last week, Cllr Ross O’Connell (SD) warned that accessing the beach could be dangerous.

‘I would discourage people from crossing the strand,’ he said, ‘because while they might be able to get across when the water levels are low, they might find themselves stranded later in the day.’

Cllr O’Connell said he had discussed the situation with Council officials and he was informed that they are hoping to have a report with options ready in time for the West Cork Municipal District meeting next Friday.

But with this weekend’s June bank holiday weekend, the councillor said he is concerned about people’s safety.

‘It is a difficult situation,’ he said, ‘we want people to be able to use the beach, but now that access from the car park is cut off, it is frustrating. Now, the only way onto the beach is for people to use the private entrance via the hotel in Barleycove.’

He expressed concern about congestion due to the limited amount of parking at the Mizen Head side of the beach and pointed out that the parking is reserved for people using the hotel, apartments and villas. Cllr O’Connell is on record at numerous Council meetings as having called for additional spaces and improved access to the main car park and access road, which becomes dangerously congested during the summer months.

‘There is nothing anyone can do now but wait for the Council report and see what options the local authority is considering,’ he said.

As previously suggested by Cllr Caroline Cronin (FG), Cork County Council is said to be considering locating the pontoon further upstream, while another consideration is to add more safety features at its original location,

Whatever will be decided, Cllr O’Connell said there is general agreement that the damage to the pontoon ‘shouldn’t have happened where it happened, especially on a sunny day in May.’

The Southern Star contacted Cork County Council for a comment before going to press.

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