Independent Galway Senator Fidelma Healy Eames has written to Galway City Council asking them to prioritise the repair and restoration of what she termed the “unsatisfactory” swimming facilities at Blackrock, Ladies Beach, Mid Promenade and Grattan Road, Salthill.
She said that she is making the call after feedback she has received from local swimmers pointing to the urgent need for intervention in relation to the poor state of the changing facilities and a range of potentially dangerous health and safety concerns.
She said that requiring immediate attention are the toilet/shower/changing facilities: A large proportion of the existing toilet and shower facilities (new and old ) along the promenade are out of order, meaning beach patrons must locate alternative facilities. Furthermore, the allocated ‘Changing Areas’ along the promenade are in a dilapidated state, and in urgent need of upgrading and maintenance. “Health and Safety in Blackrock is a pressing concern.
“The existing structure which grants swimmers access to the sea via a slanted ladder is highly dangerous and needs to be replaced immediately. This is a particular concern for older people who enjoy a regular swim. “The lack of vital safety measures such as grab rails and steps are needed. Furthermore, existing steps and paths close to this area have been eroded/demolished by the sea, meaning a further danger for swimmers and beach goers.
“Some local swimmers also report that they are exposed to the danger of slipping and falling due to the accumulation of sea weed and rough debris along the beach front,” she added.
Sen Healy Eames went on to say that she understands that some of this work is dependent on the sea tides, but that she has every confidence that these small but significant works can be carried out immediately. “I want to compliment the CEO and Galway city council for responding to my previous requests for major works to prevent erosion and flooding along the seafront. “Health and safety must always be a priority. Galway City Council should take a special interest to ‘make good’ these highlighted areas in Salthill where swimmers and beach goers, both locals and tourists are exposed to dilapidated and unsatisfactory swimming facilities spanning from Blackrock to Grattan Road, which do nothing either enhance our public image.
“This would be good use of funds derived from our local property taxes,” she concluded.