Christmas swimmers need assurances that water quality is safe in Dublin Bay
- Bacik calls for Dublin Bay Authority to protect and promote the swimmers’ paradise
Labour leader and Dublin Bay South TD Ivana Bacik has called for a Dublin Bay Authority to be enacted to protect and promote the swimmers’ paradise throughout the city.
With thousands expected to take to the sea over the Christmas week and on Christmas Day in particular, Deputy Bacik said swimmers’ health and safety must be protected through the introduction of year-round water quality monitoring.
Deputy Bacik said:
“I will be joining the many thousands of people who will take to the Bay for a swim no matter what the weather this Christmas Day. It’s a part of the tradition of Christmas for many swimmers and nature lovers alike. However, despite the huge increase in popularity of sea swimming in Dublin Bay, there has been an abject lack of focus on protecting and promoting the biosphere.
“Earlier this month, the Government debated Labour’s Dublin Bay Bill which would create a new authority to take on the responsibility for coordinating the work of the many agencies and bodies currently engaged in the planning and development of the Bay Area. It is my hope that by next Christmas we will have a Dublin Bay Authority up and running to ensure the swimmers’ paradise is set up for seasonal dippers.
“As a regular sea swimmer myself in the South Wall and Seapoint areas in particular, I know that people are particularly concerned about the failure to improve water quality for our year-round swimmers. Year-round monitoring, particularly during the Christmas season, is hugely important to protect swimmers’ and public health.
“As well as water quality, there’s a need to focus on the amenities for swimmers. There’s a raft of regeneration work that the Authority could consider. Better changing facilities and public toilets at swimming hot spots, the crumbling dereliction of the old Sandymount and Blackrock baths, adequate paving on the paths to and from popular swimming spots. These are the type of public amenities that we need to see restored and enhanced around the Dublin Bay area.
“Many walkers and nature lovers will enjoy some downtime by the Bay taking in walks from Howth to Sorrento Point. The environmental protection of these areas must be a key priority for the new Authority, particularly to protect the natural habitats and wildlife in and around the Bay.
“All Dubliners have a strong connection to the body of water that stretches across the Bay. Dublin Bay is one of the greatest resources our city has. We all have strong connections to the Bay and many of us share great memories of it too. It’s the view that often welcomes us home when flying into Dublin, it’s where many of us learnt to swim, sail or paddle. For others it’s the location for the opening chapter of Dublin’s great novel, ‘Ulysses’. It must be protected and developed accordingly to be enjoyed this Christmas and for many, many Christmases to come.”