File photo courtesy of Pixabay
Twenty per cent of all Kildare County Council’s riverside life saving buoys have had to be replaced over the last year, a public meeting has heard.
A life was lost in Clane some years ago because a life buoy was not available at the time, Kildare County Council was told at its September 25 monthly meeting.
Cllr Padraig McEvoy said that a few years ago a young life was lost at the Liffey in Clane because a lifebuoy had been removed.
Cllr Carmel Kelly, who was born on Achill island, said she wanted to see legislation, where someone who interfered with such equipment could be fined up to €50,000 or jailed up to five years.
Along with Cllrs Anthony Larkin, Teresa Murray and Paddy Kennedy, Cllr McEvoy had asked for a report on the number of lifebuoys that were maintained by the Council and how many had to be replaced in the past year.
They also called for new notices to be put in place to invite members of the public tell the Council if lifebuoys have been damaged or interfered with in any way.
Sonya Kavanagh, Director of Service with Kildare County Council, said there were ring buoys at 92 locations throughout the county, mostly on the two main rivers, the Liffey and the Barrow.
“The areas that have needed the greatest number of replacements are along the Barrow in Athy (between the Courthouse and the Horse bridge), at the Aqueduct in Monasterevin, at Liffey Bridge in Clane and at the Liffey Bridge in Celbridge. It has been necessary to replace 18 buoys, lengths of rope and 14 boxes. In the majority of cases, the boxes had been burned,” she said.
Ms Kavanagh said the Council noted the request reviewing the notices and the Council’s Water Safety Office will do that.