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Kilkee beach in Clare reopened after 'malfunction' at wastewater plant

Irish Water has apologised for the inconvenience to locals and tourists.

Image: Michelle McNamara/Twitter

Updated 1.45pm

THE POPULAR CLARE beach of Kilkee has reopened to the public following its closure due to a malfunction at the nearby wastewater pump plant.

Just after noon today, Clare County Council said the restrictions put in place on 26 July have been lifted.

Signs had been posted warning swimmers that accessing the beach was prohibited, because of the “risk of increased bacterial levels due to a pump malfunction in the wastewater pump station”.

It was thought that the ban on swimming could last up to four days but was maintained through the weekend and on Monday following a spell of inclement weather.

After an analysis of water samples taken yesterday, the HSE advised that those restrictions could eventually be lifted.

In a statement to TheJournal.ie, Irish Water confirmed that a number of “operational electrical issues” caused the pumps to be out of service for a number of hours yesterday morning.

“This led to a discharge of wastewater to the Victoria stream in Kilkee for a period of time,” a spokesperson said. The issue was further exacerbated by heavy rainfall at the weekend.

Irish Water has also apologised for the inconvenience caused.

A number of local councillors expressed concern at the closure.

Fine Gael Councillor Gabriel Keating told TheJournal.ie that the council had a “very competent staff of engineers and personnel” and said that if the local weather was sunnier and warmer, the bathing ban would have a much greater effect.

He said: “While we always have a good crowd, the weather hasn’t been that conducive to swimming. Although people do go out in all sorts of weather.

I always like to see people on holidays getting good weather and making the most of it. While it’s a shame the beach is closed, we have areas like the Loop Head lighthouse and other scenic areas people can go and see.

Keating said that the bathing ban was certainly unwelcome, but events on the other side of the country this week put the situation in Kilkee into perspective.

He said: “When you compare it to the [water shortage] situation in Louth and Meath, it’s not so bad. Everything will be alright.”

Additional reporting by Sinéad O’Carroll 

Read: ‘Runaway’ car rolls down steps towards the sea at Kilkee beach

Read: Ireland’s most popular tourist counties and attractions have been revealed

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Sean Murray

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