LOCAL water sports enthusiasts are fuming after Dublin City Council removed access to the public slipway on the James Larkin Road in Clontarf.
The authority installed bollards on the slipway opposite Clontarf Yacht Club two weeks ago which means many people are now restricted from pursuing water sports in the area.
Local resident, and water sports devotee, Linda O’Dwyer, described the decision to install the bollards as ‘concerning.’
“There was no public consolidation with the members of the public who kayak, paddleboard, wingsurf or dinghy sail before this happened,” she said.
“There may have been notification by DCC to Clontarf Yacht Club but I am unaware if that happened.
“There doesn’t seem to be any consolidation.
“I believe the council’s reasons for doing this is because they want people to use the public car park.
“But the barriers there are so low, around six feet, so anything bigger than a saloon can’t get under the barrier.
“And if you’ve got a kayak or paddleboard on the roof then forget about it.
“I cannot understand why Dublin City Council, having the sea, this amazing resource literally on their doorstep, and they choose to neglect and ignore it.
“If we can’t access the sea at the James Larkin Road the next closest entry point is Howth Harbour.
“If they want to encourage people to use the car park why don’t they just start issuing fines to people illegally parked?
“I’m sure DCC are paying a parking company a lot of money to manage this, can’t they come up with a better solution than restricting access to the sea for all of us who want to enjoy water sports?
“It makes no sense to me at all.”
Local Fianna Fail Councillor Deirdre Heney told Northside People: “I raised this matter with Les Moore, Dublin City Council’s City Parks Superintendent, and received the following reply received in response to her representations in the matter.
“I’m continuing to press the issue with Les Moore in the context of what people feel is denied access.
“He told me : ‘Deirdre, in agreement with the Clontarf Yacht and Boat Club we placed bollards to encourage people to use the public car park which adjoins the slipway.
“There was someone living in a van at this point and cars were continually parking there and not using the car park.
“The Yacht and boat Club and the Coast Guard have keys to lift the bollards for access.
“As you know this location has become much busier in the pandemic with people using the slipway for swimming (although it is not a designated bathing area) and jet skiing.
“The placement of the bollards will prevent unauthorised car parking and keep the space open and safer for people to use.’”
A spokesperson for Dublin City Council told Northside People that the slipway is not closed off.
“The slipway is not closed off to the public and there is a public car park beside the slipway,” he said.
“Bollards were installed to prevent unauthorised vehicles from blocking the access to the slipway which is part of the Clontarf Promenade and used by pedestrians.”