A number of beaches in Cork have been significantly impacted by the recent adverse weather, with access to some beaches restricted, while precautionary water quality notices are in place for 15 beaches.
According to Cork County Council, the access pontoon at Barleycove was damaged by Storm Ellen and has had to be removed for repair.
Access to the beach will be restricted for the immediate future.
Also in West Cork, the walkway has been closed at the Warren in Rosscarbery following a landslide near the cliff walk.
An assessment of the damage is ongoing.
The local authority has also warned that at Coolmaine Beach, the Kilbrittain river channel has changed direction significantly.
It said this has created a dangerous fast-flowing channel running parallel to the bathing area.
“On the advice of Water Safety staff, due to dangerous currents, the beach is closed for all aquatic activities until further notice. Members of the public are advised to be extremely cautious and stay away from the area,” a spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, high levels of bacteria have been detected at Oysterhaven and Redbarn and following discussions with the HSE, “Do Not Swim Prohibition Notices” have been placed on both beaches.
In addition, raised bacteria levels have led to an “Advisory Not to Swim Notice” at Youghal, Claycastle beach.
Cork County Council also said heavy rainfall events such as those experienced over the past week can cause pollutants to be washed from surrounding catchments into the river network and onward to the sea.
“This has the obvious potential to impact on bathing water quality and for that reason, Cork County Council is obliged to post precautionary notices at all beaches that might be affected,” it said.
Water quality may be affected at Tragumna, Youghal Front Strand, Garryvoe, Fountainstown, Garretstown, the Warren, Cadogan's Strand, at Ballyrisode Beach at Toomore, Coolmaine, Red Strand, Rocky Bay, Ballynamona, and Barleycove.
Environment staff from the local authority are continuing to take water samples at beaches across the county and will be reviewing results for individual beaches over the coming days.
Members of the public are being directed to check www.beaches.ie for the most up to date information on all beaches in the county.
“Cork County Council would like to stress to the public that when visiting beaches and coastal areas you should always exercise caution and familiarise yourself with all safety signage and ring buoy locations. Swim only at lifeguarded beaches and under no circumstances take inflatables into the open water. Supervise children at all times and in the event of an emergency dial 999/112,” a spokesperson for Cork County Council added.