Hundreds flocked to the array of fine beaches without the cover of lifeguards. The fact the weather has been in the 20s over several days should have prompted the council to put the personnel in place a few days ahead of their June start up.
It must have been a difficulty in employing staff but surely council officials could have gone to the seaside locations and at least opened the toilets for the public who were enjoying the amenities.
Likewise, it was shameful to see mounds of litter at Bertra on Sunday week piled up against the litterbins, which should be emptied on a more regular basis, and certainly when it was obvious that crowds would be heading for the seaside.
We have the best beaches in the country thanks to the work of Mayo County Council, with Blue Flag status at Mulranny, Clare Island, Bertra, Elly Bay, Mullaghroe, Old Head, Ross Strand, Dooega, Keel, Doogort, Golden Strand, Carrowmore and Keem Bay.
Councillors have been bombarded with complaints over the lack of lifeguard cover and the lack of toilet facilities during the recent sunny weather.
Perhaps the lesson has been learned and contingency plans have been put in place should this situation arise again.
Michael Gavin, water safety development officer with Mayo County Council, last week issued a plea to ‘Leave Those Buoys Alone’!
The buoys in question are those put in place at waterways throughout Mayo and every county in Ireland for the safety of the general public.
The absence of a ringbouy could prove fatal in the case of an emergency and really it is frightening to think that anyone would interfere with this vital lifesaving equipment.
A website - www.ringbuoys.ie - has been developed by Irish Water Safety to help local authorities and the general public to speedily identify missing and damaged ringbuoys.
Anyone can log onto the website, identify the location and simply report the absence of or damage to a particular ringbuoy.
An email is automatically sent to the water safety officer in the relevant local authority, who can then make arrangements for its immediate replacement or repair.
It is a reflection of our times that such measures have to be taken to ensure the ringbouys are where they should be.
With the weather seemingly on the up, let us enjoy the beaches and, of course, remember, take nothing but photos – leave nothing but footprints.
Machnamh na Seachtaine
Is mairg nach leanann an bealach díreach.
Alas for him who doesn’t follow the straight road.