Local councillor calls for charges on our lakes

Monday, 9th July, 2018 11:26am

Local councillor calls for charges on our lakes

Lough Lene

A local county councillor believes a charge structure may need to be put in place to police our lakes and waterways.

Cllr Una D'Arcy says it takes money to employ lifeguards, upkeep of changing rooms, and protect amenities from anti-social behaviour.

"It would mean that we could work to reclaim places like Lough Lene from those that ignore rules like not letting their dogs swim in around children, people who leave all their rubbish behind, people that think it's okay to come down and get drunk among families picnicing and kids swimming," Cllr D'Arcy commented.

 "On Tuesday of last week, I received calls about a man, swimming in Lough Lene in his underwear. The underwear was filling with water and dragging the garment down

"I'm  a county councillor, I do my best to be able to fix things but I do not own a pair of large swimming trunks to lend this man nor a really big dose of common sense to feed him.
"News reports said the lake has a life guard on duty - it does not but it should have. There were hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people there during the hot weather. I have asked every single year that we place a lifeguard here, even just for June and I will be asking again."

Cllr D'Arcy says the major issue at our lakes is anti-social behaviour that occurs due to drunkenness.

"Vandalism, dogs swimming in the water, people fishing from the slip and not cleaning up after them. We do not have a plan of action for this location and we need one," she argued.

"We need to be able to enforce our bye-laws and we need to be able to develop the site. Both takes money and I'm sorry to say that we may need to put in place a cost structure at the lake so that we can police it."

A charge structure would provide funds for lifeguards, upgrade of changing rooms and biosecurity, Cllr D'Arcy believes.

"It would mean that we would work to reclaim places like Lough Lene back from those that ignore rules.
"No one wants to charge for something that's amazing and free but the bottom line is we need to do something right now to plan for these amenities in the future.

"I do believe it is unsafe to not to have a lifeguard, not to have biosecurity measures and to allow the descent into drunkenness in the middle of the afternoon at this beauty spot.

"And I do believe we as a council will have to create some way of facing it rather than just coasting and waiting for the goodweather to pass."

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