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Warren swim ban lifted but water plant still ‘needs work’

August 29th, 2022 8:00 PM

By Jackie Keogh

TD Christopher O’Sullivan described the Warren as ‘one of the most stunning family-friendly beaches in West Cork’. (Photo: Andy Gibson)

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A BAN on swimming at The Warren beach in Rosscarbery was lifted last Thursday.

Following consultation with the HSE, Cork County Council lifted the prohibition notice five days after it was imposed.

‘Water samples taken by Cork County Council from the bathing water on both Monday 15th and Tuesday 16th showed excellent water quality, compliant with the bathing water regulations,’ according to a spokesperson for the local authority.

The red flag was raised on Sunday morning after what is believed to have been an overflow of the septic tank for Owenahincha and Rosscarbery the night before.

Fine Gael Senator Tim Lombard raised concerns about children swimming in raw sewage early on Sunday morning before people were alerted to the danger to public health.

Senator Lombard pointed out that Rosscarbery lost its Blue Flag status last year due to water quality issues and he called on Irish Water to expedite a proper wastewater treatment plant for the area.

Fianna Fáil TD Christopher O’Sullivan convened a meeting at the Warren Suite at the Celtic Ross Hotel on Friday morning to consult with locals.

Speaking to The Southern Star after the meeting – which was attended by 40 locals, residents – the TD said he was pleased that the beach is once again ‘open for business’, but he stressed the need for emergency wastewater treatment works.

‘The concerns of residents need to be urgently addressed,’ he said. ‘What’s very clear from talking to them is that the existing wastewater treatment infrastructure is not fit for purpose.’

He said water testing has reassured people that The Warren is a safe place to swim. ‘It also has lifeguard service, which makes it even more safe, and it remains one of the most stunning family friendly beaches in West Cork,’ he added.

In this day and age, the TD said it is not good enough that children, locals and visitors have to contend with swimming bans.

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