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Fountainstown Prepares For Busy Summer Season

Writes Ciaran Dineen

As the summer months draw ever closer, local beaches are steadily being braced for the heavy footfall expected before too long.

In recent weeks a full resurfacing of the Fountainstown carpark has taken place in preparation for the ‘sea’ of cars that are likely to make the journey from all over Cork and Cork City. The news of the resurfacing was welcomed by Councillors at the meeting of the Carrigaline Municipal District (MD) last week, with several comments made over how local beaches could be better prepared for the coming summer season.

Councillor Jack White (FG), asked the MD Officers whether it was possible for some form of power supply to be installed in the newly resurfaced carpark as well as a facility for traders to dispose of water waste. He added that a trader had asked him to query the matter, noting that business owners would be willing to pay more for trading if these facilities were put in place. The installing of power ducts would remove the need for individual generators and this would radically improve the noise and air quality around local beaches.

Cllr Marcia D’Alton (Ind), supported the comments made by Cllr White, adding that by removing the need for personal generators, the overall footprint of the traders is subsequently reduced. Cllr Michael Paul Murtagh (FG) and Cllr Audrey Buckley (FF) also welcomed the suggestion by Cllr. White.

In response, MD Officer Carol Conway indicated that funding was only available for the resurfacing project alone, but that in the future there may be scope to introduce a power supply for traders, at a cost to them for usage, if further funding presents itself.

Specific trading spots have however been designated in the carpark, with this change being welcomed by Cllr Buckley, who said that traders had previously been using car spaces on the other side of the road nearest to the beach to set up and this has been problematic over the years.

However, there were concerns over the management of traders, with Cllr Buckley querying whether there was actually any law or by-law in place that would stop any trader from using incorrect parking. She reminded Councillors that last year, one particular trader in Myrtleville had been parking in an inappropriate area, causing a lot of distress for local residents, and it took over a month to get the trader removed as there was no law in place preventing them from parking where they were. Cllr White asked whether it was possible to introduce disability parking or age-friendly parking as a measure to counteract the problem, however he was told this was not possible.

Cllr Seámus McGrath added his own observations on the matter, saying that the elephant in the room was the lack of enforceable by-laws in the area with an “urgent” need for regulations. In the recent past the MD had submitted a query to Cork County Council over the use of casual trading by-laws for the area, but it is expected that any laws made will be implemented at a County level as opposed to each individual district.

It was agreed at the MD that Councillors would write a motion ahead of the next meeting of the Full Council, seeking an update on the progress of the by-laws. MD Officer, Carol Conway, also indicated that she would follow up herself on the issue and provide the Councillors with an update as soon as possible.

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