CORK EAST FINE GAEL TD, DAVID STANTON has welcomed the news that €18 million is to be allocated for a wastewater treatment plant in Youghal. The funding announcement was made by Minister for the Environment Heritage and Local Government, Phil Hogan TD, during a visit to Cork East Constituency today.
“I know that Minister Hogan recently met with representatives from Youghal Town and Cork County Councils. At this meeting they discussed the urgent need to allocate funding to proceed with the long awaited wastewater treatment plant in Youghal.
“Youghal is in dire need of a wastewater treatment plant as the current situation, whereby untreated waste is being pumped directly into the sea is just not acceptable”, said Deputy Stanton. “Funding of €18 million will now allow for construction of a modern and efficient wastewater treatment facility in Youghal which will mean an end to this.
“Tourism is now the main industry in Youghal now, and as much effort as possible must be made to ensure that this sector is developed. In addition to the Blackwater Estuary which is an excellent asset for watersports, Youghal also has a number of great beaches around the town. It is important that the quality and cleanliness of the beach and estuary are maintained. The new wastewater treatment plant will ensure that water quality in the sea and estuary in the area remains of a high standard.
“I made a very strong case to Minister Hogan regarding a wastewater treatment plant for Youghal. I am pleased that this much needed funding has now been approved and the project can now proceed.
22/05 15:22 CET
On a recent visit to Youghal the Minister for Environment Heritage and Local Government, Phil Hogan TD, met with representatives from Youghal Town and Cork County Councils. They discussed the urgent need to allocate funding to proceed with the long awaited wastewater treatment plant.
“Youghal is in serious need of a wastewater treatment plant. The current situation, whereby untreated waste is being pumped directly into the sea is just not acceptable”, said Deputy Stanton.
“Tourism is the main industry in Youghal now, and as much effort as possible must be made to ensure that this sector is developed. In addition to the Blackwater Estuary which is an excellent asset for watersports, Youghal also has a number of great beaches around the town. It is important that the quality and cleanliness of the beach and estuary are maintained. A proper, modern wastewater treatment plant is integral to this.
“I have made a very strong case to the Minister and I am very hopeful that we may see some funding being allocated for a wastewater treatment plant in Youghal over the next few weeks
Monday, 21 May 2012
De Valera street to stay two-way as Youghal council finally adopts a traffic management proposal. – By Christy Parker
YOUGHAL TOWN COUNCIL will hope to have ended four years of uncertainty and discontent having adopted a resolution to the traffic management issues surrounding the Ashe Street-De Valera Street-Emmet Place-Church Street routes at a special meeting last Tuesday morning (November 29th).
The meeting, which was held ‘in committee’ (private) was attended by all nine councillors –Mayor Eoin Coyne (FF) and Cllrs Barbara Murray (FG), Michael Beecher (FG), Michelle Hennessy (SF), Eoin Flanagan (SF), Liam Burke (Greens), Sammy Revins (FF),Tara O’Connell (Lab) and Mary Linehan-Foley (FF) and lasted about 90 minutes.
The meeting considered two proposals according to Mayor Coyne. “The first proposal, by Liam Burke was to leave matters as they are, i.e. De Valera Street two-way, Ashe Street and Emmet Place two-way, Church Street downwards only but closed through the tourist season of June, July and August to facilitate the Heritage Trail and increased tourism,” he says.
A counter proposal, from Cllr Linehan-Foley, also argued for the status quo to be retained but with Church Street open throughout the year. “She felt the three-month closure would cause too much hassle and confusion” says he mayor.
The first vote saw Cllr Linehan-Foley’s proposal also supported by Cllrs Hennessy, Flanagan and Mayor Coyne. The proposal was defeated 5-4 with Cllrs Beecher, Murray, Burke, O’Connell and Revins opposing. Cllr Burke’s proposal was then adopted 5-4 with the councillors retaining their stance.
Lines and signs
The mayor explains that both proposals carried an amendment that double yellow lines will apply to both sides of De Valera Street and the residents consequently obliged to avail of the lane’s car park, where resident permit parking is in place. However, a set-down area is to be provided for the veterinary surgeon’s practice. The mayor adds that “elongated rumble strips in the less populated parts of Ashe Street and Emmet Place will also be installed to calm traffic.”
Furthermore, access to Ashe Street via Hayman’s Hill is to be limited to local traffic, with appropriate signage to this effect erected at the entrance to Hayman’s Hill and the junction of Windmill Hill/Ashe Street. Again Mayor Coyne hopes and believes that people will observe this restriction, while deciding it is up to drivers to obey the law traffic warden and gardaí to enforce it. He expects the signage to be erected within six weeks.
Meanwhile it was decided that traffic calming –whether rumble strips or chicanes- on De Valera was unnecessary. Instead the council opted to lace faith in Cork County Council traffic engineer Eileen Coleman’s opinion that traffic would ‘be self-calming’ on the basis that drivers approaching each other in opposite direction would slow down. How drivers will react on a clear stretch of laneway when there is no approaching vehicle nearby will soon become evident! “People aren’t stupid. They know it’s a built up area,” trusts the mayor, with abounding faith in that portion of humanity that has been sitting behind wheels and causing regular carnage since the horse became expendable!
The agreed measures will see traffic flow on DeValera Street relived for most of the year but possibly increase dramatically during the peak summer season, unless the ‘locals only’ stipulation is observed, in which case the main street will bear the extra volume.
In the coming weeks residents of the affected areas will be formally notified of the council’s ruling. Undoubtedly some will be happy and some will be quite the opposite. To be fair, it’s easy to find weaknesses in any proposal, given Youghal’s infrastructure and the dearth of car parking space at the southern entrance to town.
Any new system cannot hope to please everyone and only time will tell if there is sufficient support and effect to see this adopted proposal and its various accessories survive to permanency. The mayor accepts that time will provide the test but adds that everything “is open to review and people can always make representations.” He assures, finally, that the council will be flexible and considerate wherever and whenever it is deemed necessary to be so. It took a long time to get there. Hopefully the journey is over.
The meeting was attended by Assistant Town Clerk Helen Mulcahy, Town Manager Patricia Power, Mayor Mary Linehan-Foley, Town Foreman Ger Lupton, Town Engineer Paul Murray and Cllrs Barbara Murray (FG), Michael Beecher (FG), Michelle Hennessy (SF) Liam Burke (Green Party) , Eoin Coyne (FF) and Sammy Revins (FF).
Cllr Murray congratulated the management and staff of both Cork County and Youghal Town Councils successfully working towards ensuring that Youghal has a blue flag on each of its three beaches. She asked the town manager to indicate to An Taisce that all three beaches are designated as Youghal locations, although technically Claycastle and Redbarn come under Cork County Council’s jurisdiction.) She further noted that the blue flags were accompanied by Green Coast awards, for wider environmental excellence. Cllr Burke observed that “Youghal is the only town in Ireland with three blue flags.”
Cllr Beecher praised the town’s artistic, musical and sporting talent in general. By example, he cited the Youghal Soccer Club’s “world class” presentation recently when they entertained Bray Wanderers. He elaborated with reference to Ireland’s renowned culture of welcome with reference to the visits of Queen Elizabeth and President Obama’s (although they avoided Youghal this time, possibly because the visits preceded the arrival of the third blue flag.) “It was fantastic to see the great Irish welcome,” he said before concluding the kudos with a tribute to CRY and its recent cancer charity promotion.
Votes of Sympathy:
Cllr Coyne called for a minute’s silence for Dr, Garret Fitzgerald and Brian Lenihan, “two wonderful men and fantastic servants to our nation who will be greatly missed.” This was duly observed.
Town Foreman’s Report:
Cllr Burke said a pothole at the bottom of Windmill Hill “keeps reappearing.” He then claimed that there were 11 errors in the Irish wording of the parking bye-law sign in Nealon’s Quay (probably replicated in similar signs in other car parks). He said the worse mistake was “the Irish for Monday,” being spelt “’Luna’ instead of ‘Luan’”, meaning the law was effective “from the moon to Saturday!”
Cllr Beecher wanted a sign at Claycastle indicating nearby toilets to be directed in the appropriate direction, as it was pointing to a private house whose residents were being disturbed by visitors wishing to avail of the facility!
Cllr Coyne wanted a loose manhole at Kenny’s Lane resolved, he reiterated the misspelling of Irish words on the bye-law signs and sought clarification on the bye-law regarding dogs leashed on the beach during June-August. He was told it was requisite from 11 am to 7 pm seven days a week. He also sought pruning for some bushes on the Golf Links Road.
Mayor Mary Linehan Foley requested that weeds in the Mall be removed. She also asked, on behalf of some residents, that a railing be installed on a piece of ground being traversed by mass goers in Raheen Park. Happily, the railings at the former South Abbey school at South Abbey were an ideal fit and she suggested they be transplanted forthwith.
Cork County Council Items:
Cllr Revins observed that there were 42 pages in the latest Cork County Council Beach Bye Laws (oh Gawddd!) and while many of the stipulations would not be very relevant to Youghal, recommended that the councillors familiarise themselves with the details. Cllr Murray noted that the “very controversial bye-laws” irked many people with horse interests in west Cork, while dog issues mostly pertain to Youghal. Cllr Revins sought clarification on “a drain company offloading into the Slob bank renovation works. He learned that the substance in question was “sand and gravel” from a front strand sluice and not the contents of the town’s sewers as had been feared. (It’s unclear why it wasn’t just deposited on the beach).
Cllr Murray complained of the “absolute eyesore” that is the would-be library premises (the former Collins’s bakery). The town engineer said he would take up the matter with the county council. The councillor suggested that corri board be used an efficient and economic method of constructing signage to identify public toilets at the beach. They would be prominently displayed and visible from a distance. Cllr Murray then asked that highly visible signage be posted advertising the beach bye-laws. She also drew attention to a broken manhole cover in Dysart (near Strand church).
Cllr Beecher advised that a new gully be installed at Hillview, as previous efforts were insufficient. He asked that the road surface between Tesco and the council yard be improved to which the engineer said there was a shortage of manpower but he’d see what could be done. Cllr Beecher asked about the Tallow Road and was told that the road surfacing tenders were now in.
Cllr Burke delivered “the usual list of broken footpaths” aka Tallow Street South Main Street and junction of South Abbey/Strand Street,
Cllr Coyne said a pothole on Hayman’s hill was ever present and worrying and Mr. Murray said he hoped it could be repaired, budget permitting, along with works on Raheen Road. The councillor said the road surface at Knockaverry also needed remedying and the engineers said it was hoped to tend to it in 2012.
Cllr Linehan-Foley, in her final meeting as mayor, paid further tribute to former the late Taoiseach Garret Fitzgerald and Brian Lenihan TD. She wished absent Labour Cllr Tommy O’Connell a “full and speedy recovery” from his recent illness, the sentiments being unanimously endorsed. She conveyed best wishes to Team Youghal on their fundraising cycle across America and remarked that it was a great advertisement for the town. On behalf of the Youghal Concerned Citizens Group, she asked if the town hall rear area could be made available for the launch of the Youghal Bay Fish Pie award on July 2nd. The assistant town clerk asked that they contact her office. The mayor noted that here were many events planned for Youghal over the coming months before praising local events she had recently attended, including the “outstanding” First Army Band in the Collegiate Church on behalf of the Keith Phelan fund, a sand sculpture competition in Pilmore and the Munster Matchplay championship at Youghal Pitch and Putt club. The Vintage Vehicles day, Chatterbox, Choral and Musical societies, CRY’s Radiothon, Youghal Soccer Club versus Bray and, again, the Blue Flags were all lauded. The mayor hoped (probably in vain) that the national media would provide as much coverage for the blue flag regained as it did last year when it was lost! Cllr Beecher echoed the mayor’s sentiments that “negativity” was being afforded too much prominence.
Youghal Clock Gate Tower Business Plan:
Assistant Town Clerk Helen Mulcahy Sought and was given agreement to lease the Clock Gate to the Youghal Socio-Economic Development Group (YSEDG) for 7-10 years at an allowable rent and so enable that body to seek funding towards developing the structure.
Traffic Management Plan Church Street. DeValera Street, Ashe Street & Emmet Place. (Presentation of Amended Draft Plan by Eileen Coleman, Traffic Engineer):
See elsewhere in this issue for report.
Report on Claycastle Leisure Company by Chairperson (Mayor Linehan-Foley):
Following a recent meeting of the company, the mayor said, all was going well at the centre. However it was hoped that one (unnamed) school in Youghal would avail of the facility rather than travelling to another centre as was its current practice. “We need all the schools using it to keep it open,” she stated, adding that when funding was being sought to construct the centre, all the schools had indicated a need for the facility. A previous letter to the school inquiring as to its apparent aversion to using Aura had not received a response and another is to be dispatched.
Meeting with Youghal Chamber re: Motion:
“In the interests of advancing new retail business within the Town Centre, where an existing outlet has been vacant for a period of two years or more that Youghal Town Council call on the Chamber of Commerce/Youghal Traders Association to initiate guidelines/policy among its members and possibly all landlords within Youghal that such properties as mentioned above would be made available at 50% of the current market rental value for start-up retail businesses for a period of two years”:
It was decided to seek this meeting after the council’s July meeting (July 12th) rather than following the AGM on Tuesday 21st June as proposed.
Any Other Business:
Cllr Murray drew attention to the availability of the town hall/Mall Arts Centre as a location for civil marriages. She believed very few people were unaware of this fact and congratulated the council for its foresight in registering it as such.
The only town in Ireland to be awarded three Blue Flags for 2011, Youghal was celebrating last night (Thursday 9th June 2011) and hoping that the announcement by Environment Minister Phil Hogan will draw much-needed additional tourism into the area. The east Cork town gained an extra flag for its Front Strand while retaining the standard for both Redbarn and Claycastle – much to the delight of the Town Council.
“We had an inkling of the news last week but we now have three Blue Flag beaches that stretch across all areas of our strand. This is a very rare achievement and we are absolutely thrilled,” Helen Mulcahy, acting Town Clerk, told the Cork News.
“We were very disappointed when we lost the Blue Flag for Front Strand. There was a problem with the water quality but it really was borderline and could be attributed to bad weather at the time. Readings are taken at certain times of the year though, and they don’t always do justice to the quality of the water.
“However, this year we ticked all the boxes. We’ve been working very hard cleaning the beaches and putting various facilities in place like wheelchair ramps and litter bins. We’ve been going around the clock trying to meet all the criteria and thankfully we have managed to do just that. This is a great achievement for the Town Council, the local Tidy Town group and for Cork County Council.”
There are high hopes the news will result in more tourists coming in to visit the town, which has suffered badly from factory closures and job losses over the last number of years. “Youghal has been very badly hit recently, especially by the amount of unemployment we’re seen. One of the few assets the town has left is its beaches and we have to do everything we can to exploit that,” Ms. Mulcahy added.
“Youghal has beautiful strands and it’s a wonderful place to come and visit or spend some time on holiday. If visitors come, it could well generate more employment in the locality and hopefully start something positive. People come from far and wide to use Blue Flag beaches and tend to avoid ones that aren’t designated with the award. So we do expect a good response from the public and for them to come in their droves, especially if the sun starts to shine.”
Cork received 11 Blue Flags in total for criteria such as water quality, information provision and beach management and the national total of 82 is an increase of eight from 2010. The other beaches in Cork are Garryvoe, Garretstown, Garrylucas, Inchydoney, Owenahincha, the Warren, Tragumna and Barleycove.
Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Tourism, Sandra McLellan, has welcomed the awarding of an unprecedented three Blue Flags to Youghal, with the Front Strand beach now joining Claycastle and Redbarn beaches on the prestigious list.
Speaking at the announcement of this year’s winners Deputy McLellan said: “I want to congratulate all of this year’s winners. The result for Youghal, in particular, is an absolutely outstanding achievement. To be awarded three Blue Flags surely confirms Youghal as the finest coastal resort in the country. The awards reflect a dedication to excellence and are a result of a huge effort from the local authority, staff and community. Their commitment to the campaign, including beach clean-ups organised by a range of voluntary groups, has been rewarded with this fantastic news.”
“It is important to remember that the Blue Flag stands for more than just excellent bathing water quality, but also reflects a beach’s compliance with a range of international standards covering areas such litter management, provision of lifeguards, toilet facilities, animal control and more. As such, the three Blue Flags which Youghal can now boast conveys, to potential visitors at home and abroad, that this area is dedicated to providing a first class experience in a first class environment.”
It’s Official – Summer’s Here as a Record Two Blue Flags raised in Youghal, Co. Cork
Youghal was officially confirmed as ‘Ireland’s Finest Coastal Resort’ with two of its beaches, Claycastle, and for the very first time, Redbarn, adjacent to the Quality Hotel and Leisure Club awarded ‘Blue Flag Status’ by An Taisce on Monday 14th June 2010.
Photo: Michael Hussey | Copyright www.youghalonline.com | Email: email@example.com
The awards were presented by Mr. John Gormley T.D., Minister for the Environment Heritage & Local Government at Velvet Strand, Portmarnock, Co. Dublin.
This year a total 10 beaches in Cork – 5 in the South & East and 5 in the West of the county were awarded the prestigious blue flag which represent the highest standards in water quality, environmental information and education, environmental management and safety, services and facilities.
Speaking at the official presentation of blue flag and green coast awards ceremony at Youghal’s Mall Arts Centre, Patricia Power, Director of Services, Area Operations South, Cork County Council commented: “It is important to remember that the Blue Flag stands for more than just excellent bathing water quality. For beaches, it covers 32 criteria which have developed over the years to become more holistic and to address the various issues of sustainability; including litter management, provision of lifeguards, toilet facilities, animal control and more”. Ms Power commended the local authorities for their commitment to the Blue Flag campaign, but also the clean-up operations carried out by various community groups, individuals and organisations which she stated “were invaluable and a credit to those involved”.
Youghal’s blue flags are set to provide a timely boost to the tourism industry in the area, with The Quality Hotel and Leisure Club predicting the award will create at least 15 new jobs in their facility. Speaking about the award, Allen McEnery, General Manager said: “This news comes on foot of a very solid start to the traditional holiday season by the Quality Hotel and Leisure Centre Youghal. Bookings are well up on last year and we see this as our customers telling us that they like what we have to offer to families. We predict our business is set to grow by an additional 22 % this year alone and as an island Nation – we have precious few Hotels located on our beautiful beaches.” said Allen.
In addition to Youghal’s two flags in Claycastle and Redbarn, other beaches in the area awarded blue flag status for Cork include: Shanagarry: Garryvoe Beach, Old Head of Kinsale: Garrylucas & Garrettsown, Clonakilty: Inchydoney, Rosscarbery: Owenahincha & Warren, Skibbereen: Tragumna, Mizen Head: Barleycove.
The Blue Flag campaign is operated by An Taisce and implemented in Cork County Council using an Inter-Departmental approach involving Area offices, Environment and Water Safety sections.
Cork County Council has undertaken the provision of a full complement of beach lifeguards at all its 10 blue flag beaches this summer and will continue to supervise beaches at weekends in June and full time from July until the end of August.
The Green Coast Awards were also presented at this ceremony to 10 Cork beaches. These awards seek to promote and protect the environment of rural beaches aiming to acknowledge clean environment, excellent water quality and natural unspoilt beauty. They may not have the necessary built infrastructure required to meet the criteria set for Blue Flag Status however they are exceptional places to visit and enjoy our rich coastal heritage and diversity.
For further information contact:
Paul Murray – Engineer Cork County Council: 086-2855452
Aileen Ahern- Tourism Marketing Officer, Youghal: 024-81814 or 086-1703128 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Aoibhinn McGee – Sales & Marketing Manager, Quality Hotel & Leisure Club: 024-93050 or 087-6645021 E: email@example.com
Manager, Youghal Socio-Economic Development Group,
7-10 Enterpise Youghal,
Tel: 00 353 24 81814
Two of Youghal’s three beaches have been awarded Blue Flag status for the summer season. Redbarn will receive its first ever blue flag and Claycastle will have its pride and joy returned after a two-year absence. The front strand however, faces a third consecutive summer without the coveted cloth flying.
The latest awards reflect the state of the beaches during they surveyed months of what passed for summer 2009. It is gratifying that such rudiment requirements as parking and toilet facilities were successfully implemented at Redbarn in particular, although many would argue that there remains plenty of scope for improvements here also. Claycastle’s parking capacity is often stretched to the limits during heat-wave occasions and the toilets are probably as efficient as such unattended structures can be expected to be.
Nationally, water samples from 131 designated bathing areas, comprising 122 seawater and nine freshwater jurisdictions, were assessed for compliance with EU standards last summer. The standard comprised two criteria: a) minimum EU mandatory values and b) stricter EU guidelines. Compliance with both achieved ‘good’ water quality status. Compliance with mandatory values only achieved ‘sufficient’ water quality status and failure to comply with either brought ‘poor’ water quality status.
There were 122 (93%) bathing areas compliant with mandatory standards (sufficient). 108 (82%) of the 131 also met the stricter guidelines (good). Nine failed to meet minimum standard and Youghal’s front strand was one of those. (Ardmore, incidentally achieved ‘sufficient’ status.)
So one can safely assume that the main liability affecting the front strand is water quality. The beach would appear to suffer from the passing (pardon the pun) of raw sewerage and wet weather conditions that dislodged surface water from fields during last summer added to the ecological fragility last summer. On a far brighter note however, the imminent new town drainage and waste treatment scheme is certain to address the issue and one can expect to see the blue flag dancing in the gale-swept downpours of future Youghal summers.
Youghal councillor Mary Linehan Foley says she is “delighted Youghal has two blue flags but I won’t be happy until we have three, because Youghal is highly dependent on tourism.” The councillor stresses that the waste water treatment plant “needs to be advanced quickly” in light of the town’s present blue flag standing.
Meanwhile, Youghal town council will host a ‘raise the flags’ reception at the town hall on Thursday June 17th at 2pm.
A report on Blue Flag beaches in the Youghal area indicates that Claycastle and Redbarn are likely to have their Blue Flag status restored for 2010, having had them denied due to poor water and an over prevalence of seaweed respectively, last year. By Christy Parker
However, water quality at the Front Strand has been deemed unfit for Blue Flag status for another year at least. The Strand lost its Blue Flag in 2008. Garryvoe says the report, will retain its Blue Flag for next season.
The report is based on 2009 summer monitoring. The Blue Flag Programme for beaches and marinas is administered by An Taisce and run by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), an international non-governmental, non-profit organisation. The report was forwarded to Cork County Council with the addendum that An Taisce generally announces its Blue Flag recipients definitively come June.
Youghal Town Council is to seek a delicate, sorry, delegate meeting with Environment Minister John Gormley to highlight the urgency of a Main Drainage scheme for the town. -Christy Parker Reports
The decision comes amidst warnings by Town Manager Patricia Power that it is crucial for Youghal to “use any opportunity to maintain pressure” to acquire the scheme, given simultaneous demands from other towns in the county and the economic downturn.
Ms. Power told the September Town Council meeting that Youghal’s case is “being prioritised” by the County Engineer and that the design stage for the estimated €25m scheme had commenced. However, progress is likely to be very difficult.
Though nobody seemed keen to mention it, the issue has acquired added relevance with the recent loss of Youghal’s blue flag at the Front Strand, Redbarn’s fluttering emblem of excellence having been previously conceded. Ms Power referred to a “very difficult year,” to which “adverse weather” contributed, before turning her attention to the relevant challenge of the drainage scheme.
Cllr Dave Savage opted to describe the scheme as “crystal critical” for the housing boom “if and when it comes back.” Town Clerk Liam Ryan then summarised that regardless of trying to have buttons pushed directly or Read more