CLARE County Council has this Friday confirmed that it has lifted restrictions on bathing at Kilkee beach.
The authority, acting on the advice of the HSE, lifted the restrictions after the results of water sampling tests carried out on Thursday showed the water to be clean.
The prohibition on bathing at Kilkee was introduced on Wednesday afternoon after the results of routine tests on water samples at the beach highlighted bacterial contamination.
“On the advice of the HSE and following analysis of water samples, the Council is happy to be able to announce the lifting of all restrictions relating to bathing at Kilkee,” said Paul Moroney, Senior Engineer, Environment Section.
“Public notices indicating bathing water restrictions are being removed while the Blue Flag will be flying at Kilkee beach this weekend.
“Clare County Council would like to thank the public for their understanding and cooperation over the past two days. The local authority also acknowledges the valuable role played by the media in promoting the public health notices,” he added.
There is considerable disquiet amont local business owners and the Kilkee Civic Trust at the restrictions put in place this week, particularly after one of the busiest weekends in Kilkee’s history over the bank holiday.
In a post on its Facebook page, the Civic Trust said that facts “as we know and understand them” are that the council, on June 7, “took a sample of water from Walker’s River, (better known as the Victoria Stream), and it failed the bacterial test standard. Please bear in mind that the stream water level was very low, down to just a trickle, after the exceptionally long dry spell.
“From the start of June (when the water is tested regularly), especially during a dry spell, the custom made barrier at the mouth of the stream, which was erected some years ago for this purpose, is supposed to be in place. However; it appears that Clare County Council Engineering Dept. did not do this, and it is their responsibility to have it in position.
“On June 8 the barrier was put in place and the stream was effectively blocked. At that stage no water was flowing onto the beach, (from the Victoria Stream), so there was no water to test except the seawater. The seawater in the bay, and around the beach, as we understand it, never had any contamination so these tests were superfluous.
The Civic Trust added that, by Thursday, June 9, there was “no issue”, yet the signs had not been removed.
“The publicity is a bad news story for Kilkee, especially when the town depends so heavily on a very short tourist season,” it added.