‘Leave nothing behind but your footprints’

Life’s a beach: Mayor of Kerry, Cllr Patrick O’Connor-Scarteen Mayor of Kerry and Ger O’Brien of the Kerry County Council
Kerry County Council with one of the new beach signs.
Picture: Domnick Walsh

A NEW campaign has been launched to tackle the problem of litter on Kerry’s beaches.

Kerry County Council is encouraging people vising the county’s beaches this summer to ensure that coastal areas remain free of litter and to bring their rubbish home with them or dispose of it responsibly.

The local authority will be increasing the number of litter bins available at beaches across the county and new signage promoting the anti-litter message has been erected at all Bblue flag beaches this week.

Kerry was recently awarded a total of 14 flags in recognition of the quality of beaches in the county and the local authority is appealing to people to play their part in retaining those honours.

Mayor of Kerry, Cllr Patrick Connor-Scarteen said everyone has a role to play.

Rubbish, including a battered old golf bag, on the beach at Rossbeigh

“We hope that this summer everyone can enjoy our beach environments in a safe way and that visitors to these beautiful amenities will leave nothing behind but their footprints,’ he said.

“Kerry County Council is playing its part by providing extra bins to dispose of litter and there will also be extended opening hours at public conveniences at our beaches so, the message is simple, when you are heading home give your litter a lift,” the mayor said.

The blue flag beach at Inch

Director of Environment with Kerry County Council, John Breen, said that the local authority recognises the need to ensure that everyone can enjoy the beach environment in Kerry as the country focuses on outdoor activities over the coming months.

“We are appealing to everyone to take litter home, to take away dog foul and dispose of it properly and to avoid anything that would damage our beaches,’ he said.

“We have already stepped out our monitoring of beaches and a significant number of fines have issued to, for example, so-called boy racers but our first approach always remains encouragement of good behaviour in the first place, so that everyone can enjoy a safe beach experience,” said Mr Breen.

Meanwhile, 41 lifeguards, who are all fully trained and certified by Water Safety Ireland, took up their duties at the blue flag beaches at the weekend.

They are rostered for all beaches between noon and 7pm on weekends and 11am and 7pm from Monday to Friday and will be on duty until the end of the bathing season in September.