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Gardaí appeal over Clare tourist route congestion

GARDAÍ are appealing to motorists accessing the county’s beauty spots to show consideration for residents and other road users, with the mercury soaring to 30 degrees this week.
Staycationers, in unprecedented numbers, have brought a welcome boost to Clare’s tourism economy and created a festival atmosphere in conditions that have been more or less idyllic all week. The only down side the authorities have reported is significant traffic congestion at locations in the North and West of the county. Spanish Point, Seafield and Doolin were highlighted as particular areas of concern with heavy traffic and parking issues causing chaos. “The Garda message is that the roads, and the facilities, are there for everyone,” said Superintendent John Galvin of the Killrush Garda District. “We’re appealing to people to obey the traffic regulations because everyone wants to enjoy the summer safely.”

In relation to social distancing at beaches and beauty spots, the policing approach has changed since last summer. “We have a visible presence,” said Superintendent Galvin, “but we’re taking a low key approach. We’ll be mingling among the people and letting them know we’re there, but we want to see people being able to enjoy themselves.”
With indoor dining, for those who are fully vaccinated, set to resume next week, Superintendent Galvin confirmed that the Garda role in policing the system will be minimal. “We won’t be checking the pubs,” he said. “It’s not like last summer in that our approach won’t be a proactive one in terms of indoor hospitality. The responsibility is on the person running the venue and those using it. Needless to say, we will respond to any complaints.”
As negotiations continue on the reopening on indoor hospitality from July 26, the HSE and HSA have been tasked with checking up on businesses to make sure they are complying with the rules.

About Fiona McGarry

Fiona McGarry joined The Clare Champion as a reporter after a four-year stint as producer of Morning Focus on Clare FM. Prior to that she worked for various radio, print and online titles, including Newstalk, Maximum Media and The Tuam Herald. Fiona’s media career began in her native Mayo when she joined Midwest Radio. She is the maker of a number of radio documentaries, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). She has also availed of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to report on development issues supported by Irish Aid in Haiti. She won a Justice Media Award for a short radio series on the work of Bedford Row Project, which supports prisoners and families in the Mid-West. Fiona also teaches on the Journalism programmes at NUI Galway. If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at fmcgarry@clarechampion.ie or telephone 065 6864146.

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