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Margaret Hough, a regular sea swimmer, is concerned about the safety and usefulness of the swimming ladder installed at the popular bathing area in Clahane, Liscannor. Photograph by John Kelly

‘Medieval’ steps make a splash at popular Clare swimming spot

CLARE County Council is to go back to the drawing board after a number of complaints about a metal ladder installed at a very popular swimming area at Clahane in Liscannor.
The busy local beauty spot has seen a big upsurge in sea swimming since the pandemic, but the installation of a steel ladder has irked a number of bathers.
One of those who contacted The Champion described the structure as “medieval” and said it was causing problems for those entering and exiting the swimming area.
While efforts were made by the authority to respond to swimmers’ concerns and adjust the structure, dissatisfaction reigned.
“What on earth did we do to deserve the medieval addition to the ladder in Clahane, Liscannor, County Clare?” bather Margaret Hough said in an email to this newspaper.
“The new ladder which was put in during the summer was causing a lot of problems for entry and exit to the swimming area.
“Clare County council responded by putting an additional covering over the round steps, a squared metal frame.
“My first impression: ‘Walking over hot coals would be less painful’. You are trying to hold your footing on a pointed ridge.”
Ms Hough also said that the situation was causing difficulties at high tide.
“I was swimming at this spot again the other day as were quite a number of others,” she wrote. “Trying to exit the water was chaotic. I was stepping directly on to the steel ridge. The tide was very high and strong and on a number of occasions people were being swept back into the sea.
“This was in no small way due to the additional frame on the ladder. It was impossible to hold your footing on the steel ridge.”
Now in response to those concerns, the local authority has confirmed it is to address the situation.
A spokesperson said, “Clare County Council is currently working with the metal fabricator on the installation of the replacement steps to make the necessary adjustments to ensure that they are safe for use for all.
“New steps were installed following a number of complaints and requests from users and some adjustments are now being organised”.

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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