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Dispute over beach access sees barbed wire coming and going

July 29th, 2017 2:00 PM

By Southern Star Team

Pictureshowing the barbed wire blocking access to the cove.

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ACCESS to one of West Cork's finest small beaches has been blocked yet again with the erection of barbed wire – which disappeared, and then re-appeared some hours later.

No sooner had boulders blocking the right of way access to the popular Chimney Cove – a small beach adjacent to Barleycove – been moved last week by Cork County Council, than a barbed wire fence was strung across the path.

The County Council this week told The Southern Star that it is ‘maintaining a public right of way from the public road to Chimney Cove beach, Barleycove, as it is required to do by law.'  However, the barbed wire now in place (at time of going to press) means that locals and holiday makers can only get to Chimney Cove by waiting for low tide and walking around the rocky shore. 

They then risk being cut off when the tide comes back in, as there is no access from the land.

One local resident posted four pictures of the fresh barricade on social media, protesting: ‘It's so dangerous with barb wire right across path. If a child ran into this, God forbid who'll be responsible then.' 

The erection of the barbed wire is the latest twist in a long-running dispute about access to both the beach and what appears to be grazing land on the sea side of the road near Barleycove, one of Ireland's most popular holiday destinations.

A representative for the landowner was contacted for a comment and said: ‘He has no comment to make other than the fact he is complying with all legal requirements.'

However, a frustrated regular visitor asked: ‘When will this sad story end? ‘Chimney Cove is a small and quiet alternative to the wide open and sometimes busy Barleycove nearby. Holidaymakers and fishermen have been using this beach for years.' The barbed wire was once more cleared earlier this week and, within hours, it was erected once again.

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