Gardaí order immediate closure of Laois Offaly amenity over Covid-19 distancing concerns

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

Gardaí order immediate closure of Laois Offaly amenity over Covid-19 distancing concerns

Sunbathers on Derryounce Walks and Lakes

Gardaí have ordered the temporary closure of a popular beauty spot on the Laois Offaly border, after crowds gathered to enjoy the water in the hot sun of the June Bank Holiday weekend.

The sandy shores of Derryounce Lakes outside Portarlington, known locally as Costa del Bog, were an irresistable attraction for many people this weekend.

Photo (below) by Gardaí.

The local committee which cares for the amenity has this Bank Holiday Monday morning June 1 announced its immediate closure.

Cllr Aidan Mullins Chairman said hundreds of people were there on Sunday.

"There were hundreds of people there, swimming and paddling, the same as many beaches around Ireland. The Gardaí were out several times yesterday and then they asked us to close it over breaches of the Covid-19 restrictions. We have no choice. The situation wasn't tolerable," he said.

"There was no trouble caused," Cllr Mullins told the Leinster Express.

Volunteers will be at the gates this Bank Holiday Monday to advise people not to enter.

"We have to co-operate with the Gardaí, so we ask people to please stay away, and ask parents to tell their young teenagers," he said.

He has posted this notice on Facebook on behalf of the committee.

"The Derryounce Lakes and Trails Committee regret to announce the immediate closure of the amenity in the interest of public health and safety. We do this on the advice of the Gardai who are also concerned about the large numbers recently gathering at the lakes in breach of social distancing requirements and many are also in breach of the 5 km travel restriction.
We are asking people to co-operate with us on this decision and to stay away from Derryounce Lakes for the immediate future." the committee Chair said.