Petition against Beach Bye-Laws garners almost 5,000 signatures

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Petition against Beach Bye-Laws garners almost 5,000 signatures

A petition against the county council’s new draft Beach Bye-Laws has reached almost 5,000 signatures.

A public consultation is currently underway on the draft bye-laws, which has received a huge volume of submissions from the public.

The bye-laws govern what activities can take place on beaches in the county, and governs penalties for breaking them.

A petition was started by Patrick Dunne objecting to provisions in the Bye-Laws prohibiting watersports in the proximity of bathers.

They also give the council the authority to designate any area of a beach where the use of “surf boards and/or kite boards and/or sail boards and/or canoes and kayaks and/or
dinghies and/or stand-up paddle boards and/or water bikes” is banned.

His petition states that these bye-laws will create a “unnecessary conflict” between swimmers and people engaging in other watersports.

“Galway is known for its beautiful coastline along the wild Atlantic way and is renowned among visitors and tourists alike for its beaches, sunsets, friendly locals and wild weather.”

“We are lucky enough to get prevailing South-Westerly winds which make Galway the perfect spot for wind sports.”

“And some Wind sports are amongst the fastest growing sports in the world at present and are great for peoples physical and mental health.”

“As an avid watersports enthusiast who has grown up in Galway I strongly oppose these draft bye laws prohibiting water sports and aiming to criminalise the prohibited sports.”

“The water should be available for everyone, and Galway County Council should be doing everything it can to promote watersports and boost tourism by using an all-inclusive approach.”

“Other countries relish the opportunity to have water sports on their doorstep and support the local water community with competitions which gain national and international coverage, promoting the area, boosting tourism and allowing people access to new and exciting sports.”

He said that a consultation between the county council and national governing bodies for these watersports would be welcomed.

The council has extended the deadline for submissions on the draft Beach Bye-Laws to November 25.