Need for more Garda patrols, beach lifeguards and refuse bins highlighted for popular swimming spots during fine weather spell
BY Rose Barrett
As thousands of families and visitors descended on Dublin’s glorious beaches over the bank holiday weekend, gardaí quickly responded to a public order incident on Burrow Beach at Sutton on Sunday last. This was part of Operation Irene which became effective on May 1 this year.
Gardaí in Raheny have made an appeal for witnesses to the incident at Burrow Beach to contact them at Raheny Garda Station on 01 666 4300, or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.
However, many coastal communities have since called for lifeguards along Dublin’s popular beaches as well as more litter collections and bins, and a consistent garda patrol over weekends at popular locations.
The good weather is set to continue until Saturday when ‘normal’ Irish weather returns with showers and cloudy conditions predicted. However, even in dull or light rain, crowds will flock to Dublin’s most popular swimming spots and seaside towns over the coming months.
In maintaining a quiet but firm presence, members of Raheny District and the Public Order Unit quickly cleared Burrow Beach until the large crowds had dispersed last Sunday. While no arrests were made, enquiries are ongoing.
Gardaí across Dublin will continue to conduct high-visibility patrols in popular seaside towns and busy suburbs across the summer months as part of Operation Irene.
However, many Sutton residents and those living in nearby seaside towns feel a much greater garda presence is needed across Dublin’s popular swimming spots.
Litter too was an issue at Burrow Beach where Cllr Joan Hopkins (SD) slated the amount of litter left at the scenic beach last weekend.
“I asked Fingal County Council to provide additional bins for the bank holiday weekend on our beaches. But why can’t beach users bring home cans and bottles or back to where they bought them. We have recycling facilities near all our beaches and I don’t think this is too much to ask.”
Regular beach user, Jen Nother suggested introducing a pilot scheme, a beach warden (supported by gardaí) during the busiest weekends of the summer. “They could monitor access and egress to the beach. Reminding beach goers as they enter that they must leave no trace behind.”
Cllr Hopkins stated that, over the past three years she has made similar suggestions, and pleaded with Irish Rail to stop passengers getting on with alcohol and whether the local supermarkets could choose not to sell.
Brendan O’Reilly, Chair Rush Tidy Towns stated the local TT group was delighted that local beaches stayed litter wise over the sunny period. “People seem to have taken responsibility for cleaning up after themselves to a large extent. With the council bins distributed along the beach, it makes it easy for visitors to bin their rubbish. Our volunteers still walk the two beaches in Rush every day litter picking.”
However, he did note the lack of formal parking facilities at the Sox Cross Lane entrance to the North Beach was creating an ongoing issue, and could present a challenge for emergency vehicles to access the beach. Mr O’Reilly also said the failure of FCC to provide lifeguards at Rush’s blue flag South Beach over the June bank holiday weekend was disappointing.
“It seems absurd that no provision has not been made on one of the busiest weekends of the summer for a beach which has repeatedly retained a blue flag. FCC need to do better on this one!”
Cllr Ann Graves (SF) noted that there has been repeated anti-social incidents occurring at Swords Park and Main Street, Swords, popular spots for youth to gather. Also
At a Joint Policing Committee (JPC) meeting last Friday, Cllr Graves stated the increase in assault causing harm incidents was raised, particularly re Swords Park.
“Unfortunately, CCTV cameras are not in use and residents are seriously concerned about large groups of youths gathering there. Gardaí are putting resources into this, and the committee acknowledged the improvements with community garda and and the Garda response team established for Swords.”
Cllr Graves welcomed the commencement of Operation Irene. “This is a targeted operation to mitigate against anti-social behaviour in open areas, attractions and on all beaches that attract large crowds across the DMR North Division.”
She added that the aims of Operation Irene will take note of rising crime trends and in line with the needs of the community with key objectives being to stem anti-social behaviour, combat alcohol consumption in public spaces especially underage drinking and related harm incidents while enhancing community safety and confidence.
05/06/2023 Dublin Ireland. A gardai presence at Burrow Beach after yesterday’s brawl at the beach. Photo: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie
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