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There’ll be restricted access for dogs and horses at Kerry's Blue Flag beaches this summer

May 16, 2022 17:05 By radiokerrynews
There’ll be restricted access for dogs and horses at Kerry's Blue Flag beaches this summer There’ll be restricted access for dogs and horses at Kerry's Blue Flag beaches this summer
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Dogs and horses will be restricted from accessing parts of Kerry's Blue Flag beaches during specific time periods this summer.

Councillors voted to adopt the Kerry County Council Beach Bye Laws 2022.

There were 51 submissions made, the majority related to the control of dogs.

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Under these bye laws, animals will be limited from accessing the Blue Flag areas of these beaches from 11am to 7pm from June 1st until September 15th.

The restriction will operate from 12pm to 6pm at Kells beach.

These restrictions won't apply to guide dogs and assistance dogs.

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Fears had been expressed that Kerry beaches would lose their Blue Flag status if this bye law wasn’t introduced.

Director of Services with Kerry County Council, John Breen told the meeting it wasn't a proposal to ban dogs and horses from beaches. He said it's a daily restriction and dogs will be able to access other areas of these beaches, that don't fall under the Blue Flag zone, via a throughway at most beaches; markers will be provided to guide dog owners to these areas.

Mr Breen says the Blue flag zone covers most of Ballybunnion North, Kells and White Strand beaches; given that Kells is such a small beach the time limit there was shortened (12pm to 6pm).

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The time remains 11am to 7pm at all other Blue Flag beaches; lifeguard flags are up during these times which will clearly mark the designated area, according to the council.

Banna was used as an example where Mr Breen told the council, the Blue Flag area is 3.5 times the size of the car park; dogs and horses can access the rest of this, and other beaches, at any time during the summer.

Cllrs raised concerns about pony and horse trekking businesses, and the council will make contact with these businesses to inform them how they can access the beach; any permitted horse racing events also won’t be impacted.

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The council said the beach bye laws would be reviewed again following this season; the focus this year will be on engaging with and educating the public.

Cllrs raised concerns about the times of these restrictions and how the Blue Flag was assessed, but they acknowledged the importance of the accolade.

26 councillors voted in favour of adopting the bye laws, 6 voted against and one was absent.

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