Clare County Council’s removal of Kilkee diving boards a ‘comedy of errors’.

Clare Fine Gael TD Joe Carey has today said that Clare County Council must reinstate diving boards and ladders at a popular west coast bathing spot.

Diving boards and ladders which were in place in Kilkee for generations have been removed by Clare County Council in a move which is provoking widespread anger and uncertainty.

Deputy Carey has written to Ms Nora Kaye, Acting Kilkee Town Manager, in relation to the Kilkee Diving Boards and ladders.

Over the past weeks Deputy Carey has pushed for a resolution to this issue, asking that any Water Safety Review would be fast tracked.

Deputy Carey has consistently stated his opinion that the boards should be reinstated, having visited the site two weeks ago to see for himself the issue at hand.

Deputy Carey said:

“Clare County Council has made a very rash decision by removing a series of diving boards and ladders which were in certain areas for several generations without incident. They removed this infrastructure right at the start of the summer season. I cannot understand how Clare County Council can allow this situation drag on so long. We are now in July and still there is no sign of a decision being made. Do people not realise the extent to which tourism is suffering in the County? Given the recent fine spell, we are now facing into another month with tourists and locals alike not able to avail of facilities, which were in place in the town of Kilkee for generations.

I have written to Ms. Nora Kaye, Acting Town Manager for Kilkee, several times and each time there is another deadline and date for a decision to be made. The way in which this whole situation has been handled has been dreadful from start to finish. Public confidence in the authorities to do what is in the best interests of public safety has been affected by the refusal of the Acting Town Manager to make a speedy decision and explain why these matter were not done during the winter, when the boards were in storage.

What I am saying now is that these boards and ladders should be reinstated immediately. I am calling for Ms. Nora Kaye to explain her actions to date and to take a decision in the next day or so with regards this aquatic infrastructure.  Thousands of locals have joined a Facebook page asking for these boards to be reinstated. Where matters of public safety exist, it’s time now for Clare County Council to produce the evidence or else produce the boards. Simple as that.

On Saturday, June 19th, Deputy Carey inspected the current condition of the partly restored boards and ladders. Photos of these are available here:!/photo.php?pid=1208176&id=1503423551
Deputy Carey said:
“When this issue came to light, I made immediate contact with Clare County Council and also made public statements expressing my view that the boards and ladders should be restored for various reasons. I also asked that the IWSA review would be fast tracked. (These can take up to 6 weeks and I found the timing of this illogical). I received a reply from Ms. Nora Kaye, Kilkee Town Manager who committed to the review taking 2 weeks. I do not support the decision to remove the aquatic infrastructure and am asking for the restoration of the boards and ladders. I have opposed the Council’s actions up until now because I believe more risks  are now being encouraged by the Council’s decision to remove the diving boards.”

“There is an unique association between Kilkee and water sports and these diving boards have been in situ for generations without incident. The timing of this is appalling, right at the start of the tourist season. I would hope common sense prevails. The approach to date has been a comedy of errors on the Council’s behalf and every day the boards are removed is hurting tourism in Kilkee and County Clare at our busiest time.”