CORK County Council said the pontoon at Barleycove beach cannot be reinstated until it is safe to do so.
But the good news is that the parts needed for the repairs have been ordered; they are on the way; and, within two weeks, the pontoon is likely to be reinstated.
Anxious locals highlighted the issue by contacting their local public representatives and by organising an online petition that warned the beach’s blue flag status hung in the balance.
A spokesperson for the Council said they ‘deemed it necessary’ to close access to the pontoon walkway in order to carry out essential repairs, and expressed its regret for any inconvenience caused. Cllr Danny Collins (Ind) said: ‘Locals had a right to be worried because the pontoon is vital for the safe entry and exit of people to this much-loved beach.’
The councillor said: ‘It was damaged during bad weather, last year, and the plan was to have it repaired and ready for use at the start of the summer.’
However, the pandemic and the shutdown pushed the timing of that back.
Cllr Collins said people organised the petition because they were afraid that the pontoon would be out of action for the rest of the year.
But he reassured them saying: ‘That was never the case. It was always the County Council’s plan to restore it.’