PERSISTENT problems with the pontoon at Barleycove could cost the popular beach its blue flag status.
That’s according to Cllr Katie Murphy (FG) who raised the issue at the Council’s Western Committee meeting.
While there is nothing of environmental concern, she told The Southern Star that the fact the beach cannot be accessed via the pontoon bridge was a recurring problem and could undermine its status.
Cllr Murphy asked when it would be reopened and Council official, Mac Dara O- h-Icí, told her it would be ‘in time for the swimming season,’ perhaps around Easter time.
The committee chairman, Cllr Alan Coleman (Ind) pointed out that now, more than ever, people are swimming in all kinds of weather so his comment was open to interpretation.
The pontoon has been damaged several times during stormy weather and Cllr Murphy suggested that the time had come to consider a new, more permanent, solution for Barleycove.
‘Last year, we saw a massive influx of visitors at the beach and we can expect the same again this year,’ she said.
At the same meeting – during a discussion of the 2021 roads programme – both Cllr Danny Collins (Ind) and Cllr Ross O’Connell (SD) insisted that something needs to be done to improve parking – not just at Barleycove but at Ballyrisode beach too.
Cllr O’Connell said the causeway looked more like Cork city than a rural road and both he and Cllr Collins said any emergency situation in either Barleycove or Ballyrisode would be greatly hindered by a lack of access.
Cllr Collins said additional parking has to be found to accommodate people using both amenities.