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Friday, 9th April 2021

Council turns down request for swimmers safety rail at Port Oriel

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Councillor Tom Cunningham at the slipway at Port Oriel which can be lethal for swimmers entering and leaving the water.

Louth County Council has turned down a request from Clogherhead Councillor Tom Cunningham for a handrail to be installed at a slipway at Port Oriel which is popular with sea swimmers and is often used by Drogheda Triathlon Club members to enter and exit the water.

Cunningham says a handrail is essential to ensure the safety of swimmers as they enter and exit the water with wet feet on the sloping surface which gets slippery with seaweed.

The Sinn Féin Councillor said: “We need a hand rail on the slipway at Port Oriel for health and safety as when the swimmers are exiting the water their feet are wet and the ground can be exceptionally slippery because of the green surface.

Councillor Cunningham said that in response to his request the Council told him: ‘this is not a designated swimming area. Slipways are designed for launching boats and their return to land.’

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“While I accept this is the case, in its strictest definition, the reality is that swimmers are using this slipway in big numbers, to enter and exit the water" he said.

“We are not talking about a huge investment here as we only require a handrail to provide that bit of support to swimmers and those who launch the different types of pleasure crafts from the slipway.”

Councillor Cunningham says he will pursue the issue further as it affects a large number of swimmers.

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