Beach quad in Donabate is held back by red tape

by Sylvia Pownall
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A clean coasts group in Donabate cannot use a new quad bike and trailer bought last year to clear rubbish from the beach because of Government red tape.

Olive Gilsenan, a volunteer with Donabate and Portrane Clean Coasts, revealed that the new vehicle is still lying idle months after its triumphant launch last November.

Olive, who was nominated for an Ocean Hero Award last year, expressed her frustration in an update to the local community on the issue.

The equipment was bought with funding from FLAG, Board Iascaigh Mhara, local action groups and local businesses to support the ongoing effort to restore Donabate’s Blue Flag status and keep the shoreline clean.

But Olive revealed: “I’m sure many of you are wondering why it has not been seen on our beaches yet.

“There has been one main setback which has been the uploading of a form on the Revenue website in order to register the quad.

“This form has not been made easy to navigate and the system being used by Revenue is not fit for purpose. I made no fewer than ten visits to the VRT section in Ballymun.

“As of Friday the form was finally uploaded to their system and they presented us with a new problem that may now take weeks or months, we are not sure as yet.

“We believed that a registration for a new vehicle would be pretty straightforward – we were wrong.”

Olive, who runs educational summer workshops for children to explore the shoreline, said the Clean Coasts volunteers were taken aback to receive a bill for VRT which was double what they had been told it would be.

They were also asked to pay VAT which she said the group already paid when they purchased the quad.

She said: “The quad supplier had already paid the vat to Revenue, but Revenue said VAT paid won’t show on their system and we must pay it again and claim it back ourselves, but they could not tell us how and from whom?

“This has been already a very long, drawn-out, frustrating process and very, very tiresome.”

Undaunted, Olive said the group is “pressing ahead” with other plans and would do all in its power to have the quad on the beaches “as soon as possible”.

Efforts to contact Revenue for comment were unsuccessful

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