EXTRA resources are to be available in West Clare to welcome visitors over the St Patrick’s Day Bank Holiday weekend.
At the March meeting of the municipal district, motions were tabled by two North Clare members calling for action following the exceptionally busy seasons in 2020 and 2021.
Councillor Shane Talty said the pandemic had created “crazy staycation pressure” over the last two years and he highlighted the need to be prepared in terms of lifeguard resources. Both he and his fellow Ennistymon area councillor, Joe Killeen, called preparations for the 2022 season to be stepped up. “Thankfully, people chose Clare as their preferred destination,” Councillor Killeen said. “However, it felt like we were putting emergency measures in place right through the summer season. There were several issues highlighted during the season and action had to be taken on a number of pinch points. Thanks to everyone who got the county ready.”
Senior Executive Officer (SEO) John O’Malley outlined the intensive efforts made to prepare for and review each tourist season. He noted that the season is getting longer every year and that facilities will be available for the St Patrick’s Day weekend.
In a written response to Councillor Talty, Mr O’Malley said: “The West Clare MD continues to work with our Human Resources and Finance Sections in planning for expected increase in visitors in 2022. Additional resources were provided in 2021 across all our main visitor locations including Beach Ambassadors, Temporary General Operatives and contract cleaners where needed. Clare County Council advertised for Beach Operatives positions last week with the closing date for applications 10th March 2022. Plans are in place for additional resources to be provided along all our main beach locations from Fanore to Kilkee. An additional Traffic Warden is to be provided for Doolin pier and village and key North Clare locations for the main 2022 season.”
In response to the motion from Councillor Killeen, Mr O’Malley said: “The West Clare MD have been working since the end of the 2021 Season in preparation for the 2022 Summer season. Additional resources are planned for the main beach and pier locations. Communications continue to take place with local groups, landowners, and operators/businesses throughout the MD with improvements continuing at key locations.”
Councillor Talty, whose motion was seconded by Councillor Ian Lynch, welcomed the response and particularly the fact that facilities will be available for the extended March Bank Holiday.
Councillor Killeen, whose motion was seconded by the district cathaoirleach, Councillor Cillian Murphy said the response was very welcome. “I acknowledge the work of the Beach Ambassadors in particular,” he said. “Great credit is due to everyone who works to get the county ready for the visitor season.”
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 The University of Galway.
If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at email@example.com or telephone 065 6864146.