Deputy MacSharry, council exchange letters on Strandhill bollards

A Sligo/Leitrim TD is claiming Sligo County Council has no intention of removing the bollards that are preventing parking at the seafront in Strandhill.

It follows correspondence between the council and Fianna Fail Deputy Marc MacSharry.

Yesterday, Deputy MacSharry said the bollards at Strandhill should now be removed in light of the increasing number of people being vaccinated against Covid and the demands for parking in what is now the height of the tourism season.

Responding to Deputy MacSharry, Emer Concannon, Acting Director of Services with Sligo County Council, said the regular feedback from the general public is that the additional circulation space created for walkers and vulnerable road users in the area is very positive and welcome.

She also said congestion along the sea front caused by pick-up and drop-offs to Surf Schools last summer has been largely eliminated this summer as a result of the structured relocation of the mobile surf schools to a dedicated space in the main car park.

This, she said, has resulted in the freeing up of parking spaces opposite the promenade.

Ms Concannon pointed out that the loss of parking at the promenade has been offset through the provision of an additional 35 parking spaces in the main car park.

She added that Strandhill remains extremely busy and therefore the additional circulation space along the promenade for walkers and vulnerable road users is as important as ever, particularly with the presence of the Covid-19 Delta variant.

She said the county council is continually monitoring the overall situation in Strandhill, including the bollards and circulation space.

Responding to Ms Concannon, Deputy MacSharry told her she had effectively said there was no intention of removing the bollards.

He insisted the bollards had added very substantially to the constraints at the sea front where, he said, elderly locals and tourists are now unable to access parking at the seafront.

He insisted there is now no public health rationale to the bollards remaining in place.

He claimed the council executive is either choosing to ignore a motion passed by its own members or had unilaterally determined that there is a threat of catching covid ‘exclusive and unique tob parking at the sea front in Strandhill.’

Deputy MacSharry pointed out that he has lived in Strandhill for years and had the opportunity to monitor the position very closely.

He said the bollards must be removed because they are causing a safety hazard themselves.

Deputy MacSharry also said he had consulted with the Chief Superintendent of An Garda Siochana in Sligo, who confirmed that this is a matter exclusively for the council.

Meanwhile, lest there be confusion, it has been pointed out that despite the ongoing bollards controversy, the sea front at Strandhill remains open.