BARLEYCOVE Beach is finally accessible after the repaired pontoon was opened to the public on Wednesday morning, nearly two months after it was damaged.
‘Everyone is absolutely delighted to see it open again,’ said local Cllr Caroline Cronin (FG), ‘and to know it has been made safe and secure.’
The councillor was referring to the damage that was caused to the pontoon – which bridges a tidal stream – on May 17th.
Unseasonably strong winds and a tidal surge caused the pontoon to be lifted and overturned while people were walking on it.
Cork County Council closed the pontoon immediately and took on board engineering safety recommendations, which called for the attachment of additional anchorage to the pontoon.
‘During its closure, over the last seven weeks, people were taking risks crossing the tidal stream on foot,’ according to Cllr Cronin.
While it might be safe to cross at low tide, she said there was always a danger that crossing at high tide could have put lives at risk.
‘Everyone is thrilled that it is open again, especially as the weather is so hot,’ said the councillor.
She thanked the contractor Richie Barry of West Cork Civil Engineering and Cork County Council for doing a great job on repairing, anchoring and installing the pontoon.
‘The Council took a lot of flak for closing it,’ said Cllr Cronin, ‘but it was necessary to make it safe.’