THE newly-installed lifeguard huts, which cost €50,000 each, have been gathering some attention locally this week.
The last of the five huts were installed at the main beach in Barleycove last week.
‘Cork County Council have fully funded the five new lifeguard stations in Redbarn, Claycastle, Tragumna, The Warren and Barleycove beaches, at a cost of €50,000 each,’ a Council statement said, ‘in recognition of the wide usage and importance of our beaches and the safety of their users.’
It said the lifeguard stations, produced by iForm and based on an RNLI design, are the first of their kind on Irish beaches.
But when the pictures were posted online last week, there was a less than enthusiastic response to them.
The majority of posts on both The Southern Star Facebook and also the page operated by Cork County Council all commented on the price of the units.
‘€250,000 for 5 sheds. You have got to be kidding!’ asked Laura Collins.
Jella Ní Mheisceill wrote: ‘Let’s hope they don’t have to spend another 250k to replace next year after the winter storms.’
Sheila Galinos added: ‘That’s a crazy waste of money. Perhaps a scam ... 50,000 each?’
David Ring asked: ‘50k for a shed or does that cover the cost of the lifeguard as well?’
Although Maria Kelleher said she saw the one at Redbarn and added: ‘It actually looks really well on the beach, very professional.’
A spokesperson for Cork County Council said: ‘Prior to the purchase of the units the Council ran a tender to which we got no response so we had to actively search the market for suitable product.’
They added: ‘Prior to the tendering process, we engaged in market research and the money we are spending now is good value compared to the prices we got at that time.’