THERE were 27 camper vans parked on the green at Carrigaholt one morning during the summer, along with a number of tents.
With this in mind, at last week’s meeting of West and North Clare, members of Clare County Council, Councillor Gabriel Keating called for toilet facilities, similar to those provided in Doolin car park, to be installed there.
He said that at the moment Carrigaholt is “ticking all the boxes” for the provision of a wastewater treatment plant, but he said installing portable toilets in the interim would be very positive.
In a written reply to his motion, Senior Executive Engineer Alan Kenneally acknowledged that the area is becoming increasingly popular with visitors.
“While Carrigaholt may not have the visitor numbers of Doolin, the village is becoming increasingly popular with tourists, helped by its location on the Wild Atlantic Way and its Green Coast beach.”
However, he said that there are a number of difficulties with putting in place what Councillor Keating sought.
“I would see some challenges in replicating the Doolin toilet facilities in Carrigaholt,” he said, citing cost as one example, pointing out there is currently no funding in place to build such facilities.
He added that consents would also be an issue.
“As Carrigaholt is adjacent to both an SAC and SPA, Part 8 planning permission and
environmental consent will be required.”
Lack of sewage collection and treatment infrastructure in Carrigaholt was another reason.
“Either a large irrigation area, a chemical toilet or a large holding tank will be required. These options may not be suitable – or environmentally desirable – in Carrigaholt,” said Mr Kenneally.
“If permanent toilets are built, or temporary “portaloos” placed, in Carrigaholt resources will be required to ensure that they are cleaned and serviced to the required standard,” the engineer pointed out, while acknowledging the matter is worthy of some further consideration.
“Given the increasing popularity of Carrigaholt, perhaps an initial assessment of possible types of public toilet and perhaps some locations could be carried out in conjunction with Councillor Keating.”
Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.