Beach clearing to be reviewed by Fingal County Council

by Sylvia Pownall

Fingal County Council has said it will unravel seaweed to remove rubbish and review its beach cleaning policy, on the recommendation of an An Taisce report.

The local authority has faced heavy criticism for using heavy mechanical diggers to clean beaches across 88km of coastline – a practice first exposed in Dublin Gazette three months ago (right).

A video shared by Earl Fitzgerald of the Donabate Portrane Clean Coasts group shows mounds of compacted rubbish, which included plastic, dirty nappies and wet-wipes.

He said: “You can see the JCB marks here. What Fingal County Council are doing is – they’re burying the rubbish here.

“They’re not taking it off the beach … nobody buries rubbish on a beach for it to float away out to sea.

“For the last three years, we’ve been telling Fingal County Council to stop using JCBs on the beach. You wouldn’t do this in Croke Park or in the Phoenix Park.”

An Taisce recommended ceasing the practice following meetings with the council in June and July.

Clean Coasts programme manager Sinead McCoy said burying rubbish in sand posed a health risk for children.

She added: “We believed there was a consensus that this material needed to be removed from the beach immediately, and the practice of front-end-bucket scraping of the beaches with diggers discontinued.

“This initial step has still not been undertaken, seven weeks after the site visits.”

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