From The Irish Examiner.
Cork County Council is providing specially-designed lifeguard stations on five beaches and a beach wheelchair service at another location.
The council confirmed today that it had purchased five purpose-built lifeguard stations from a UK-based manufacturer.
They are each costing in the region of €50,000.
Cork is the first local authority in the country to provide the facilities.
Two have already been installed at Redbarn and Claycastle beaches near Youghal and others will be provided at the West Cork beaches of Tragumna near Skibbereen, The Warren at Rosscarbery and Barleycove on the Mizen Peninsula within days.
The council said the project was in recognition of the popularity of the beaches and to improve public safety.
The announcement, yesterday, at the Quality Hotel at Redbarn coincided with the presentation of Blue Flag beach flags and Green Coast awards flags to the council’s area engineers.
The council’s director of services Mary Ryan had received all the flags at last week’s official announcement of the An Taisce-organised awards.
Seven beaches across the county had been awarded Blue Flag status, with a further 14 beaches receiving the Green Coast accolade.
The iconic Blue Flag honours beaches around the world which adhere to stringent requirements, high standards and strict compliance in relation to water quality, safety and facilities.
The Cork winners were Barleycove, Garrylucas, Inchydoney, Owenahincha, Tragumna, Garretstown and Redbarn.
The National Green Coast Award, meanwhile, is reserved for ‘exceptional places to visit’. It recognises community and environmental activity alongside natural beauty.
Successful Cork beaches were Ardnahinch, Ballyrisode, Doneen Pier, Fountainstown, Galley Cove, Garnish, Inch Strand, Inchydoney East, Oysterhaven, Red Strand, Ring, Rocky Bay, Sherkin Island’s Silver Strand and Cadogan’s Strand in Schull Harbour. All beaches had demonstrated excellent water quality and an unspoilt environment.
Meanwhile, a council pilot scheme to trial a beach wheelchair at The Warren has concluded successfully. Free of charge, the wheelchair is available from June and can be booked by calling the Rosscarbery Pitch and Putt Club on 087 6602949.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Patrick Gerard Murphy said the new lifeguard stations were being put in place as part of the local authority’s commitment to improving infrastructure at its beaches.