Vandals leave their mark on kayak and paddleboards

September 4th, 2020 11:50 AM

By Jackie Keogh

The owner said the message ‘no kayax here please’ was, at the very least, ‘unwelcoming.’

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A VANDAL has damaged a family kayak at Trá Lan beach near Union Hall.

Clare Lynch said she and her family regularly leave two kayaks on the bank of the seashore during the summer months.

However, when she went there on a recent Saturday, she found one of them had been defaced with insulting graffiti.

“No kayax (sic) here please” was the message written in permanent brown, gloss paint on the bottom of one of the vessels.

Clare described the message as ‘passive-aggressive and a clear indication that someone objects to people using the beach to store their kayaks.’

She said: ‘There has never been a problem until now. Other people leave their kayaks there as well, so there could be six or six on the bank at any one time.

Previously, we had been asked not to leave our kayaks on the “private” side of the beach and we had respected that.’

She said that reading the message made her feel intimidated, insulted and threatened.

‘Given the challenges people are facing during the pandemic, I consider it to be an unkind message to send anyone.’

She said: ‘People go to Trá Lan to enjoy the fantastic scenery, and messages like this make people feel very unwelcome.’

However, she does not believe the message was meant for her alone. ‘It was meant for all the locals and the visitors who frequent the area.’

Clare said the family’s afternoon was ruined by the message and ‘every time I got to use that kayak I have to be reminded of such unpleasantness.’

Clare reported the matter to the gardaí in Skibbereen and they are carrying out an investigation.

Meanwhile, in Galley Cove, near Crookhaven, the Summer SUP (Stand Up Paddleboarding) School has shut up shop early this season because of anti-social behaviour.

One of the owners of the school claimed that ‘a bunch of young fellas flipped over a trailer’ and damaged some of their paddleboards.

He complained about ‘parties every night on a couple of family beaches that leave the place in a wreck.’

The instructor said they simply got tired of cleaning up six or seven bags of rubbish, including human excrement.

As a result, Summer SUP School is now closed for the summer.

Supt Declan O’Sullivan confirmed that gardaí in Schull are currently investigating this incident, with a view to taking a prosecution for anti-social behaviour and criminal damage.

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