Cllr Tom Cunningham: ‘Lessons Have Not be Learned’

Sinn Féin councillor Tom Cunningham has found himself once again demanding extra bins for Clogherhead Beach as the good weather promises to bring people flocking to the area.

Overflowing bins at Clogherhead Beach

An angry Cllr Cunningham who hails from Clogherhead said “we had this problem last year and we have learned nothing. Once again, after just a few days of fine weather, we find ourselves with overflowing bins and inadequate recycling facilities.”

Clogherhead is a ‘Blue Flag’ beach and Cllr Cunningham pointed out that “under the environmental management section of the criterion it clearly states that ‘the beach should be clean’ and ‘waste disposal bins/containers must be available at the beach in adequate numbers and they must be regularly maintained.’ It also requests that ‘facilities for the separation of recyclable waste materials should be available at the beach.’ Take a look at what is left behind after a few days. Bins are overflowing onto the beach itself and recyclables are clearly not being separated as there is no facility for doing so. This is unforgivable.”

Cllr Cunningham said “we need better waste management; bins are emptied on a Monday and are filled to capacity and overflowing by a Friday. We need to have them emptied at least twice a week all year round with extra collections during the good weather and also have extra bins provided as well.”

Blue Flag encourages local authorities to promote recycling at its beaches but Cllr Cunningham questioned the Chief Executive’s commitment to this. “In July 2017, the Chief Executive took the inane decision to cease all plastic collection in bring banks at a time when we are fighting a losing battle against plastics in our oceans. On 10th May this year, Ireland declared a Climate and Biodiversity emergency. Louth County Council doesn’t even provide adequate bins on our Blue Flag beach. It is just crazy.”

Cllr Cunningham fears that the lack of an adequate waste management plan will jeopardise the Blue Flag. “We have a beautiful beach here and it is worthy of the Blue Flag but we need to maintain it. We look forward to welcoming visitors to Clogherhead but how can we advertise ourselves as exceptional when the beach is littered with rubbish. We need more bins, adequate recycling facilities and proper maintenance or emptying of those facilities or we are in danger of losing our valued Blue Flag and the fault for that will lie at the feet of the Chief Executive and the officials at Louth County Council.”