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Council increase pest control at Lahinch

A pest control company has increased measures to combat a rat infestation at Lahinch beach following complaints about a hike in the number of rodents near the old promenade area.

Additional bait was laid last weekend by the company on behalf of Clare County Counci,l following complaints about rats near the beach.

It coincides with a request for the installation of CCTV near the old promenade to deter litter bugs from throwing food waste and used bottles on the rocks.

Senator Martin Conway has urged Clare County Council to consider the provision of CCTV as one of the actions to combat the ongoing problem in Lahinch.

In addition to increasing rat bait during periods of warm weather, when Lahinch attracts a substantial increase in visitors, Senator Conway has also suggested the council should liase with volunteers and local groups to step up their beach clean-ups.

It is believed the problem is being caused by people indiscriminately throwing waste, leftover food and drink over the railings onto the rocks at the beach, particularly at night.

Senator Conway appealed to all beach users to bring home their rubbish or deposit it in one of the council rubbish bins and to desist from the practice of throwing any type of waste over the railings.

He told The Clare Champion the council are aware of the problem when he raised the issue with the authority on ­Friday and is confident personnel are dealing with the matter.

Following the introduction of CCTV outside the Ennistymon Area Offices,  he recalled the practice of dumping up to 20 bags of rubbish at weekends ceased to be a problem.

“It is unfair to expect the council or any local volunteer to clean up rubbish that is caught between the rocks and this is very difficult to do at any time.

“Contrary to what some people believe, rubbish thrown on the rocks isn’t always washed out to sea and should never be deposited there in the first instance.

“An influx of rats is a ­reoccurring problem in most busy seaside resorts like Lahinch.

“It becomes an even bigger problem during periods of fine weather and when there is an increase in visitors.

“I think litter fines for second and third offences should also be increased, which would help act as a deterrent,” he said.

Senior executive engineer, Stephen Lahiffe, confirmed the council had contacted a pest control company, which is the subject of an annual contract, and it had increased the number of visits and the laying of bait in Lahinch.

Mr Lahiffe pointed out 95% of visitors put their rubbish in the bins but it seemed a small minority of late-night revellers are throwing food waste, cans and bottles over the wall on the promenade.

While the council is prepared to consider installing CCTV on the old promenade, he pointed out it is easier to catch litter bugs dumping rubbish outside the Ennistymon Area Office, as this is normally done using a vehicle, where the licence registration number could be detected.

Following a decrease in council resources, he acknowledged the authority would not be able to keep Lahinch as clean as it is without the support of volunteers who conduct regular beach clean-ups.

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