Dollymount car ban will not be lifted, says council

Bull Island barriers to remain in place, after gardaí raise public safety concerns

Council said it took the decision  following a recent incident where emergency vehicles had difficulty reaching  a car that was stuck in the sand, which  resulted in a woman being injured. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Council said it took the decision following a recent incident where emergency vehicles had difficulty reaching a car that was stuck in the sand, which resulted in a woman being injured. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

 

A temporary ban on cars driving onto the beach at Dollymount strand is to be made permanent by Dublin City Council.

The council last June erected barriers at the Wooden Bridge and Causeway Road entrances to the 5km beach between Clontarf and Raheny, to prevent motorists from driving onto the sand.

The council said it took the decision after gardaí raised public safety concerns following a recent incident where a car that was stuck in the sand led to a woman being injured.

“Due to the haphazard nature of parking, emergency vehicles had difficulty attending to the incident. For this reason and following strong advice from the gardaí, management in the Parks Service made a decision to cease vehicular access to Dollymount beach,” the council said.

There had also been growing “anti-social activity” caused by cars driving onto the beach the council added.

Local residents, who for years had driven onto the beach, some learning to drive there, had sought the removal of the barriers. However, the council has determined that they should remain in place.

“The situation will be monitored; however, it is considered that keeping the beach free of motor vehicles is in accordance with best practice and is beneficial in the long term for public safety, for improving maintenance, for the enjoyment of beach-goers and for achieving the nature conservation objectives which define the island as a unique and special place in the city.”

Fine Gael councillor Naoise Ó Muirí said he was concerned elderly people and wheelchair-users would be excluded from using the beach if the new restrictions were kept.

“I’ve received a lot of emails from residents in Clontarf, Raheny and further afield who are very unhappy about the removal of cars from Dollymount beach without notice or consultation. There is also some anecdotal evidence of a fall-off in visitors to the beach as a result which is worse again when you consider the good weather that we’ve had this summer. Senior citizens and families with young children now find it difficult to access the beach.”

Making the restrictions permanent was an “extreme reaction” and unfairly punished local citizens who are regular and careful strand-goers day in and day out, he said.