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Photograph by John Kelly.

Extended lifeguard cover ‘will save lives’ says Grant

EXTENDING the lifeguard season on Clare’s popular beaches will save lives in the future, according to Councillor Liam Grant.
The former lifeguard has welcomed Clare County Council’s decision to introduce lifeguard cover for the last two weekends in May at Lahinch, Spanish Point, Kilkee and Fanore.
The Green Party Councillor tabled a motion to the local authority in October 2022 highlighting the need to increase the lifeguard cover at “big beaches” to include weekends in May.
He also pointed out extending the lifeguard season for Clare’s bathing areas is a great boost for tourism.
“Since joining the council I’ve got the lifeguard season extended to include weekdays in June and the last two weekends in May. Clare are the first and only county in the country to do this so I’m happy with the progress so far.
“However, when you look at the UK, many of their beaches are lifeguarded from Easter until the end of September. I think that’s the benchmark we need to set ourselves.
“More and more people are swimming and surfing outside of the summer months and we need to keep up with the times.
“I believe that the lifeguards are the best value service that the council provides and a good use of tax payers money. I’ve no doubt that continuing to extend the lifeguard season will save lives in the future,” he said.
The Green Party Councillor spent a summer lifeguarding in Fanore, which he described as one of the most beautiful beaches in Clare.
However, he pointed out it can often be very dangerous for swimmers at times so it is great to have lifeguards in place at weekends.
The introduction of lifeguards at this location has been welcomed by Aloha Surf School, Fanore.
The council has provided details of the proposed lifeguard service for the summer season, which is subject to change based on adequate lifeguard availability.
From June 1, there will be full time lifeguards at at Lahinch, Spanish Point, Fanore and Kilkee, seven days a week from 11am to 7pm.
Lifeguards will be on duty at White Strand Miltown Malbay, Doonbeg, Cappagh, Ballyallia, Mountshannon and Killaloe for weekends in June and Bank Holidays from 11 to 7pm.
During July and August lifeguards will be provided at Lahinch, Spanish Point, Fanore, Kilkee, White Strand Miltown Malbay, Doonbeg, Cappagh, Ballyallia, Mountshannon, Killaloe, Seafield and Bishopsquarter seven days a week from 11 to 7pm.
Lifeguard cover in September will be provided at the weekends on September 7 and 8 and 14 and 15 at Lahinch, Spanish Point, Fanore, Kilkee, White Strand Miltown Malbay, Doonbeg, Cappagh, Mountshannon and Killaloe.

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