Strict new beach rules go into effect in West Kerry

The most restrictive laws ever introduced to control activities on beaches in West Kerry went into effect this Monday, banning dogs and horses from sand, blowing the air out of airborne toys , and boats and jet skis were ordered to stay at least 300 meters from shore. ,

Most county councilors considered the Kerry County Council Beach By-Laws 2022 to be a “very granny state” and even a “barking lunatic”. But, nevertheless, they were adopted at a council meeting held on 16 May as they were considered necessary to fulfill the terms and conditions of the international Blue Flag scheme which is run by En Tas in Ireland.

The bye-laws include rules specific to Blue Flag beaches, but there are also a set of new and updated rules that apply to all beaches, ranging from lighting a barbecue to lying in the water on the ‘Lilo’ airbed. outlaws the activities. Training in swimming without the written permission of Kerry County Council also makes the bye-laws an offense.

Some of the most restrictive rules apply to Blue Flag beaches during the ‘bathing season’ of June 1 to September 15, when dogs and horses are prohibited daily between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. Outside this time dogs are allowed on Blue Flag beaches if they are on a leash and horses are allowed if they are under control, do not cause annoyance or danger, are not on sand dunes – and Their dung should be cleaned.

Dogs get a slightly better part of the deal because the council can, if it so chooses, designate a ‘thruway’ where dogs on a leash can travel through a Blue Flag section of the beach and through a relative of non-Blue Flag areas. can be taken to freedom. time of day. As far as the horses are concerned, the law is tough as it mandates “from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.” any part of Blue Flag Beach to bring or ride, wash, drive or carry any horse. prohibited to carry.

These rules apply to Ventry, Inch and Maharabeg beaches in West Kerry and to help people find out if they are in or out of the law, Kerry County Council states that the Blue Flag section of the beach ” Usually the lifeguard is the area between the flags.”

When the new laws went into effect on Monday, there were dogs in and out of the Blue Flag section at Ventry, which runs about 400 meters from near the car park to the river at the end of the beach village. However, anyone who may have been on the wrong side of the law was doing so intentionally and every dog ​​owner, The Kerryman, largely spoke out in favor of the rules.

Local resident Chris Byrne, who was taking his golden retriever, Sally, for a walk outside the Blue Flag area on Monday afternoon, strongly supported the ban, as he sees it as addressing an issue of health and safety for children. I see.
“A ban on dogs during the day is a good idea. You always find dog droppings near the entrance to the beach. Ventry has a Blue Flag section and is also where most families and children go,” he said. “I always tell people with children not to sit within 100 meters of the entrance to the beach.”
“In some other countries, such as the US, they have ‘dog beaches.’ Move out of the flag zone,” he said.

Maurice O’Connor from Dingle was of a like mind. “The ban on dogs is fine. This only applies to the Blue Flag area and there is a lot of space in Ventry,” he said. “Leave the Blue Flag area to the families and the kids.”

Cork visitors John, Gary, Donal and Dylan Norberg, who were walking the beach with the three terriers, also had no major problems with the ban. Dog owner John said he could understand why the ban was needed because some people don’t clean up after their dogs. He wasn’t particularly excited about the new rules, but like Maurice and Chris, he felt there was a lot of room outside the flagging area.

Another visitor, Conor Nugent, said he agreed with the ban “to an extent”. On the one hand he felt it was important for dogs to get enough exercise, but he also understood that some people did not like dogs running freely on the beach.

Connor said he wouldn’t bring his own racing Greyhound to the beach, but he likes dogs and was happy to skim stones for a stray dog ​​he found on the Ventry Strand. When Connor got tired of throwing stones, the dog went to find someone else to play with, the ‘authorized officers’ of the council, or anyone else with the power to enforce the new rules.

Meanwhile, John McCarthy of Milltown was not aware of the new bylaws and did not see a notice at the entrance to Ventry Beach informing people about the Blue Flag dog ban. John thought the law was a bit excessive, but he agreed that the dogs should outrun – as was the case with his Labrador ‘Bailey’ – and thought it was especially important for people to pick up their dog’s mess . “Sadly it hasn’t been implemented,” he said.

As far as the law on horses is concerned, John Pat Long of Long Riding Stables in Ventry said that it is ironic that tourism advertising in Ireland often includes pictures of horses on beaches, yet now during the summer the animals has been banned.

Some of John Patt’s trekking routes go to Ventry Beach, so his business is directly affected by the Blue Flag ban, but he said the council has been very accommodating and he is happy to comply with the new laws.

“We always clean up after our horses anyway and we already took our horses off Ventry beach on summer afternoons because it has gotten so busy over the years,” he said.

Outside of the rules governing Blue Flag beaches, Kerry County Council has clarified that dogs and horses are welcome at all other beaches, as long as they are kept under “effective control” and the owner is under their control. After cleaning.