Sunday, June 13th

Carey receives commitment that Water Safety risk assessment survey to take 2 weeks.

Clare Fine Gael TD Joe Carey has today received a commitment from Clare County Council that an Irish Water Safety risk assessment on diving boards at Kilkee will take 2 weeks to complete (See email below).
There had been fears that any such review could take up to 6 weeks, thereby effectively lasting the whole of the summer season.

Last week, Clare County Council removed diving boards and ladders at popular bathing spots in Kilkee.
Following this, Deputy Carey wrote to the Kilkee Town Manager asking for an explanation and for the decision to be reviewed.

He said:
“I believe that there has been a serious lack of foresight and planning in this issue. Naturally, water safety must be the priority but the last thing Kilkee needs is the withdrawal of any tourist infrastructure just as the season is beginning, and especially given how difficult it has become in attracting visitors during these  recessionary times.

I understand that the aquatic infrastructure was removed first and then the Irish Water Safety were contacted to conduct a review. Perhaps, given that these boards and ladders have been in situ for generations, with little incident, it would have been better for the Council to work with locals in addressing any concerns first before taking this drastic action.

Having said that it’s in the interests of everyone to take on board the outcome of the Water Safety report. I am glad that this report will now be conducted in a speedy manner and would expect the results to be made public within the next two weeks.
Health and safety of course has its place in the provision of any public amenities. But, there has been a worrying trend in recent years whereby the health and safety banner has been used to encroach on the right of individuals and society to maintain healthy outdoor pursuits.

Locals have used these public amenities in Kilkee for decades. The withdrawal of them may prompt youngster and visitors to seek less safe bathing spots along the coast. Kilkee is known as a safe place for diving and part-taking in all types of water sports and in my view this reputation must be protected.  We must not allow ourselves to be overly beholden to bureaucracy. Common sense should also be prioritised.”