Protest at Dingle Bay over ‘industrial size’ oyster farms

Save This Beach spokesman says expansion would threaten local wildlife

‘Save This Beach’ protesting at Rossbeigh beach on Sunday. Photograph: Domnick Walsh

‘Save This Beach’ protesting at Rossbeigh beach on Sunday. Photograph: Domnick Walsh

 

More than 400 people protested at Dingle Bay on Sunday against what they said was “industrial size” oyster farming.

Residents, people with holiday homes and members of the local golf club marched at Rossbeigh beach against proposals for eight oyster farms covering about 400 acres.

Maurice Murphy, spokesman for the Save This Beach campaign, said oyster farming should not take place in an area of conservation. If allowed, the expansion would threaten the enjoyment of the beach as well as local wildlife, he said.

Councillor Michael Cahill called on the applicants to “rethink” proposals, and said the protest centred on the industrial, large scale nature of the proposed development.

However, Richie Flynn, a member of the European Commission Aquaculture Advisory Council, urged protesters to “think outside the box.”

Mr Flynn said: “I have every sympathy and respect for people afraid of something they don’t know very well but this could benefit tourism.”

One application has been granted. The other proposals before the Department of Agriculture and the Marine cover the back strand of Rossbeigh beach and areas at Glenbeigh and Dooks Golf Club.