|Wicklow People||12th December 2002|
WICKLOW COUNTY Council has been accused of 'legislating against fun' after passing bye-laws which regulate activities at Brittas Bay and Greystones' North Beach.
The bye-laws were originally to include a ban on bonfires and barbeques, but they were amended to allow for these with a special permit.
Cllr Derek Mitchell raised the concerns of his local girl-guide troop, saying that the group have bonfires on the beach every summer.
' They are a well-run uniformed organisation and there should be some form of permit to allow them to continue their activities,' he said.
Deputy Liz McManus asked that the bye-laws be reconsidered, saying that she was particularly worried that sea-angling would be affected by the laws.
' There is a tradition of beach-casting in the area and I would be worried that we are setting limits on activities that are doing no harm,' she said.
Cllr Deirdre De Burca described the bye-laws as 'draconian and restrictive', while Cllr Jimmy O'Shaughnessy expressed his concern that the regulations would outlaw soccer on the beach. 'We are trying to get young people involved in physical activities and we want to ban football on the beach.
Cllr Nicky Kelly said that with the measures the council were trying to ban fun. 'Now were talking about stopping fishing. The anglers on the beaches have the best interests of the beaches at heart.
If the Wicklow team were to reach the Leinster Final, would they stop Moses Coffey from training with the team on the beach. I can't support this motion,' he said. 'Music is not going to be allowed on the beach but its not as if Disco George is coming down and setting up on the beach', he said.
Chairman Cllr Pat Doyle pointed out that fishing wasn't banned under the bye-laws, a viewr eiterated by County Manager Eddie Sheehy 'To suggest that the Council are kill-joys is just a red herring,' he said.
The bye-laws were eventually passed by 11 votes to three.
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