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22nd Aug 2020

Former Green Minister shares appalling photo of Sandymount beach following swimming ban

Megan Cassidy

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council has issued a a temporary Bathing Prohibition Notice at Seapoint as concerns over Dublin Bay water quality issues continue to mount.

The swimming ban is in place until Tuesday August 25 due to an ‘increase in the levels of bacteria found in the bathing water, as a result of overflows from the Irish Water wastewater network’. Read more here. 

Meanwhile, Environmentalist and former Green Minister John Gormley shared a photo to Twitter showing Sandymount strand ‘caked in algae sludge’ and ‘unwalkable’.

He wrote:

‘Last night Sandymount strand was caked in algae sludge, making the beach unwalkable and the bay unswimmable. The new government needs a plan to address this ongoing problem.’

Mayor of Dublin Hazel Chu acknowledged in a tweet that the issue had been raised by a resident and that it is being looked into:

Gormley went on to suggest that the algae is a sign of ‘too much nitrogen in the water, which can often indicate raw sewage entering bay during heavy rainfall.’

This week, beaches in Dublin, Waterford, Galway, Wexford, and Kerry have all been issued with bathing notices following heavy rainfall after Storm Ellen hit this week.

Earlier this year, swimming at Merrion strand was permanently banned when the beach was classified as “poor” for the fifth year in a row under EU standards.

At the time, EPA director Dr Micheál Lehane said: “Declassification of Merrion Strand after five years at poor status is disappointing and action must be taken to ensure no other bathing water is declassified in future.”

Read next: And now for 2020’s next trick… giant jellyfish taking over Dublin