Cllr Antóin Watters: Good Weather Attracts Bad Habits

Sinn Féin Councillor Antóin Watters has asked people to take care of the beach and leave it as you find it. This request comes after the councillor received numerous complaints from local people around Templetown Beach as people have flocked to it with the good weather.

Cllr Watters said “No one wants to ruin anyone’s fun in this weather but I’m asking people to respect the beach and clean up after yourself. There has been an increase in the number of BBQ sets and plastic containers left on the beach. You wouldn’t dream of leaving these lying around if your BBQ was in your back garden so why leave them behind somewhere else? We are all aware of the danger of plastic to the seas and oceans.”

Horse fouling on beach

Cllr Watters has also received several complaints about horses on the beach. “There are strict bye-laws regarding horses on blue flag beaches and that includes Templetown Beach. Horses are not allowed on the beach between 10:00 – 18:00 during the summer months according to the Control of Horses Act.  The reasons for these bye-laws are obvious, especially if we are enjoying the kind of weather we have had lately. When a beach is busy, as Templetown has been recently, it becomes dangerous to have horses on the beach. These horses are putting people at risk of serious injury, not to mention the fouling that is taking place which isn’t fair on other beach users.”

Take your BBQ and rubbish home with you

The fixed penalty for breach of these bye-laws is €63 and Councillor Watters has been in contact with Council officials and Gardaí this morning. “I have requested additional signage to be erected at Templetown Beach to inform people of the restrictions and asked the Gardaí to be extra vigilant for enforcement. Members of the Public should also notify the Gardaí of any breaches. Let’s keep the beach safe for everyone to enjoy.”

Cllr Antóin Watters Calls For Pro-Active Approach to Dumping

Sinn Féin Councillor Antóin Watters has requested that Louth County Council to explore the option of installing height restriction barriers at litter hot spots in North Louth.

Cllr Watters made the request at this month’s Municipal meeting in Dundalk following and escalation in dumping incidents around North Louth since Christmas.

Councillor Watters said “since Christmas we have had tyres and building rubble dumped which are very costly to remove. While I welcome the funding for the County from the Government’s Dept of Climate Action and Environment through their Anti-Dumping Initiative (ADI), it is not going to solve the problem.”

In April Minister Denis Naughtan TD announced Louth would receive €76,300.

Antóin Watters explained that this sum was to cover the whole county and included Carrickarnon Laneway, Ravensdale. “I spent last weekend helping in the annual spring clean at Rathcor. The spirit and pride of the community in their area was evident as it is in other areas. People who are dumping rubbish are not wanted in the area. They do not care about the people or the area.”

Antoin Watters at Rathcor Clean up

“This money from the ADI will be used up just cleaning up after these people. We need to think more long-term and be more pro-active in tackling this issue once and for all. This is a war on dumping. We need to fund initiatives like amnesties for tyres and larger items like mattresses or suites of furniture. We need to make it difficult for dumpers to drive their vans to these hotspots and that’s where the height restriction barriers would help. We could use CCTV at these spots and even drone technology.”

Councillor Watters has been liaising with Louth County Council and Coillte on an on-going basis since Christmas on this issue and said “Coillte removed a further 260 tyres from its land last week and that is eating into their already tight budget. They shouldn’t have to spend their budget or their time on cleaning up rubbish, they were established for forestry works and illegal dumping is taking them away from that.”

Councillor Watters also said “the greatest resource that we have against these people are the communities themselves. I would again appeal to people to remain vigilant. If they see anyone dumping or if they see strange vehicles acting suspiciously around litter hotspots take note of them and report them to Louth County Council.”

“This is our county, our area, our community and we are proud of it. We are not going to let people treat it like their own personal rubbish tip. The money spent on cleaning up after these despicable people could be better spent elsewhere.”