Ahead of what is hopefully a bumper tourism season in Achill, local councillor Paul McNamara has asked for regulations to be put in place to ensure camper van parking is enforced properly on the island. He also asked that Mayo County Council take on extra staff to assist will a range of issues that will occur due to the influx of holiday makers to the island.
Speaking at the March meeting of the Westport-Belmullet Municipal District which took place this week, Cllr McNamara said that the council needed to ensure everything was done to make the holiday season run as smoothly as possible.
He said: "If there is a Connacht Final in Castlebar and 30,000 people attend, there are all kinds of regulations and precautions put in place, with traffic management facilities, stewards and other facilities put in place. What infrastructure has been laid out for the holiday season if it is all go for July and August?"
Cllr McNamara told the meeting that he welcomed all kinds of camper vans and campers to Achill and all areas, but it 'needs to be regulated'. He went on to say that last year at 12pm on a number of days, Gardai had to stop traffic heading to Keem Bay and a lot of the congestion was caused by camper vans parking up there for several days at a time.
He also told the meeting that at Keel when the campsite is full, camping takes place in other areas and camper vans pull up where they can and the facilities are not in place to deal with such an influx, with just two public toilets available to people, and the issue was the same at other blue flag beaches.
Cllr McNamara asked the council to take on extra staff to help deal with these issues and the collection of rubbish and emptying of bins as he believed the current number of staff that the council had were 'not able to deal with such an influx'.