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Beach-goers were on access pontoon when it collapsed

June 22nd, 2022 11:45 AM

By Jackie Keogh

The pontoon after it collapsed in a freak summer gust at Barleycove. (Photo: Liam Wilcox)

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ADDITIONAL lifeguards are to be appointed at Barleycove beach as an added safety measure, according to a senior executive officer with Cork County Council.

MacDara O h-Icí made the announcement at a meeting of the West Cork Municipal District when the members were discussing the delay in reinstating the pontoon which leads from the car park to the beach.

Mr O h-Icí said the pontoon was removed because it was in an unsafe condition and that it would not be reinstated until consultant engineers have assured the local authority that it is safe to do so.

Mr O h-Icí confirmed that there were people on the pontoon at the time it was damaged on Tuesday May 17th due to strong winds and a tidal surge.

It is understood that the people were not hurt but the situation has raised concerns and the Council said it is taking its obligation to ensure the safety of the public very seriously.

A Council spokesperson also noted that damage to the pontoon is ‘a regular occurrence’ but the Council is ‘investigating the possibility of a better and safer location for the pontoon.’

The Council has commissioned a report from consultant engineers on what would be required to reinstall it safely. The engineers are also looking at a number of options, including additional safety features and the possibility of setting it back further from the beach.

Cllr Ross O’Connell (SD) said he hopes the pontoon is reinstated before the end of June because the months of July and August are the peak of the season.

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