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09/02/22 - Donegal County Council to put in place pet friendly zones on beaches in 2022

 Donegal County Council to put in place pet friendly zones on beaches in 2022 image

 

The Blue Flag is an international environmental award made to beaches throughout the world that demonstrate good environmental standards and have good sanitary and safety facilities. To be given Blue Flag status a beach must have a high standard in water quality, environmental management, environmental education and information, and safety and services. The award is made by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), an independent non-profit organisation. To retain our valued Blue Flags beaches, Donegal County Council must fully comply each year with the criteria set by FEE and is subject to inspections throughout the Bathing Season (June 1st to September 15th) for compliance.

 

An Taisce, which operates the blue-flag programme in Ireland, has been requested by the FEE to advise local authorities they must meet all the rules of the programme if they are to retain their flags in 2022 and beyond. These rules include restricting access for dogs and other pets, other than assistance dogs, to blue-flag beaches or in the blue-flag area if it is part of a larger beach. The rule applies during the Bathing Season only. 

 

With a coastline of over 1100 km, County Donegal is blessed with many beautiful sandy beaches and Donegal currently has the joint highest number of Blue Flags nationally with 12 beaches in the county holding the award.  To retain these iconic awards, Donegal County Council is putting in place arrangements to allow pet owners to continue to enjoy beaches while limiting pet access to certain areas of certain beaches at certain times during the bathing season.  These arrangements were presented at the Council’s Climate Action and Environment Strategic Policy Committee on 26th January 2022.

 

On 10 of our Blue Flag beaches, plus 2 other beaches that it hoped will gain Blue Flags in the coming years, pets will be restricted from accessing a portion of the beach from 11am to 7pm each day from 1st June to 15th September.  This area will include the area supervised by our beach lifeguards plus a buffer either side.  Pet owners can continue to enjoy the other parts of these beaches with their pets, in accordance with the existing beach byelaws, at all times. The beaches where these restrictions will apply are Rossnowlagh, Murvagh, Fintra, Portnoo/Narin, An Charraig Fhinn (Carrickfinn), Trá na Cille (Killahoey), Marblehill, Na Dúnaibh (Downings), Portsalon, Rathmullan, Lisfannan and Culdaff.

 

Given the size of 2 of our smaller beaches, Bundoran and Stroove, there is not sufficient space to fulfil our compliance with the Blue Flag criteria and also allow for an additional area for pet access. Therefore, pets will be restricted from accessing these beaches from 11am to 7pm each day from 1st June to 15th September.  In the case of both beaches there are ample local alternative beaches and walks for pet owners and their pets to enjoy.

 

Donegal County Council will implement these measures for the 2022 Bathing Season.  In parallel with this the Council will be undertaking a public consultation on incorporating the changes into the existing bye-laws relating to beaches. There will be further awareness campaigns to keep the public informed of the specific changes at these beaches.

 

 

 

 

 

Limistéir faoi leith á socrú ag an Chomhairle do pheataí ar thránna in 2022

Is gradam idirnáisiúnta comhshaoil é an Brat Gorm a bhronntar ar thránna ar fud an domhain a léiríonn caighdeáin mhaithe chomhshaoil agus a bhfuil áiseanna maithe sláintíochta agus sábháilteachta acu.  Le go mbainfeadh trá stádas an Bhrait Ghoirm amach, caithfear ardchaighdeán a léiriú sna réimsí seo a leanas: cáilíocht an uisce; bainistiú comhshaoil, oideachas agus eolas comhshaoil agus sábháilteacht agus seirbhísí.  Is í an Fhondúireacht um Oideachas Comhshaoil (FEE), eagraíocht neamhspleách neamhbhrabúis, a bhronnann an gradam. Chun ár dtránna luachmhara a bhfuil stádas an Bhrait Ghoirm acu a choinneáil, ní mór do Chomhairle Contae Dhún na nGall cloí go hiomlán gach bliain leis na critéir atá leagtha síos ag FEE agus tá sé faoi réir iniúchtaí comhlíontachta le linn an tséasúir shnámha (1 Meitheamh go 15 Meán Fómhair).

 

D’iarr an FEE ar An Taisce, an eagraíocht a chuireann clár an bhrait ghoirm i bhfeidhm in Éirinn, a chur in iúl do na húdaráis áitiúla go gcaithfidh siad na rialacha ar fad faoin chlár a chomhlíonadh má tá siad chun a mbratacha a choinneáil in 2022 agus amach anseo.  I measc na rialacha, caithfear cosc a chur ar mhadraí agus ar pheataí eile, seachas madraí cuidithe, ar thránna a bhfuil brat gorm orthu nó ar an chuid sin den trá atá faoi stádas an bhrait ghoirm más chuid é de thrá níos leithne é.  Baineann an riail seo leis an séasúr snámha amháin. 

 

Is iomaí trá ghainimh álainn atá le feiceáil ar an 1100km de chósta i nDún na nGall.  Faoi láthair, tá 12 trá i gContae Dhún na nGall a bhfuil stádas an bhrait ghoirm bainte amach acu agus tá an líon seo ar comhchéim leis an líon is airde i gcontae ar bith eile sa tír faoi láthair.  Chun na gradaim íocónacha seo a choinneáil, tá socruithe á gcur i bhfeidhm ag Comhairle Contae Dhún na nGall chun ligean d’úinéirí peataí leanúint orthu ag baint taitneamh as tránna ach, ag an am céanna, tá srian á chur ar pheataí in áiteanna áirithe ar thránna ag amanna áirithe le linn an tséasúir snámha.  Cuireadh na socruithe sin i láthair ag Coiste Beartais Straitéisigh um Ghníomhú ar son na hAeráide agus Comhshaoil de chuid na Comhairle ar an 26 Eanáir 2022.

 

Ar 10 gcinn dár dtránna a bhfuil brat gorm orthu agus ar 2 thrá eile a bhfuiltear ag súil go  mbeidh stádas an bhrait ghoirm bainte amach acu sna blianta amach romhainn,  beidh cosc ar pheataí in áiteanna áirithe ar na tránna sin ó 11am go dtí 7pm gach lá ón 1 Meitheamh go dtí 15 Meán Fómhair.  San áireamh sa limistéar seo beidh an limistéar atá faoi mhaoirseacht ár ngardaí tarrthála trá, chomh maith le maolán ar an dá thaobh. Is féidir le húinéirí peataí leanúint orthu ag baint sult as na codanna eile de na tránna seo lena gcuid peataí, i gcomhréir leis na fodhlíthe trá atá i bhfeidhm cheana féin.  Is iad seo a leanas na tránna ina mbeidh na srianta i bhfeidhm: Ros Neamhlach, Murbhach, Fionntrá, Port Nua/An Fhearthainn, An Charraig Fhinn, Trá na Cille, Cnoc an Mharmair, Na Dúnaibh, Port an tSalainn, Ráth Maoláin, Lios Feannáin agus Cúil Dabhcha.

 

Cionnas nach bhfuil  2 thrá dár gcuid mór go leor, is iad sin, Bun Dobhráin agus an tSrúibh, níl muid in ann critéir an Bhrait Ghoirm a chomhlionadh agus, san am céanna, limistéar breise a chur ar leataobh do pheataí.  Mar sin, beidh cosc ar pheataí  ar na tránna seo ó 11am go 7pm gach lá ó 1 Meitheamh go dtí an 15 Meán Fómhair. Sa dá cheantar seo, is féidir le húinéirí agus a gcuid peataí sult a bhaint as neart tránna eile agus as na siúlóidí atá thart timpeall orthu. 

 

Cuirfidh Comhairle Contae Dhún na nGall na beartais seo i bhfeidhm do Shéasúr Snámha 2022. Ag an am céanna leis seo, beidh an Chomhairle ag tabhairt faoi chomhairliúchán poiblí ar na hathruithe seo a ionchorprú sna fodhlíthe reatha a bhaineann le tránna. Beidh tuilleadh feachtais feasachta ar siúl chun an pobal a choinneáil ar an eolas faoi na hathruithe sonracha ar na tránna seo.

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