SERIOUS concerns have been raised about crowded parks and amenities in Cork amid fears that the bank holiday weekend will see large gatherings at popular attractions.
This morning, council crews had to clean up the Lough after the amenity was heavily littered with bottles, cans, and boxes on Wednesday.
Independent councillor Mick Finn said he passed The Lough on a number of separate occasions throughout the day and between 1pm and 9pm “hundreds, if not thousands” of people congregated there.
While many were separated into groups, Mr Finn said the amenity was simply “not designed for crowds of that magnitude”.
Many people were reported to be enjoying picnics, playing ball or listening to music.
“It was like something you would see on a beach on holidays or, as one person described, at a festival,” he said.
He received a number of calls from concerned residents in the area who reported people leaving rubbish and urinating in gardens.
He believed a joint policing approach between Cork City Council and gardaí was needed to address the issue as the summer begins.
The city councilor said that the Lough was not the only city amenity reported to be busy as “people can’t go elsewhere”.
He questioned if crowds at such sites may reduce when people can travel beyond 5km from their homes.
Amenity sites in the county are also reported to be particularly busy. Today, members of the Kinsale Bandon Municipal District raised concerns about increased crowds at beaches in the locality when they met.
Independent councillor Alan Coleman, who chaired the meeting, said they are liaising with the gardaí amid concerns of increased crowds at locations such as The Dock in Kinsale.
“There was an appeal at the meeting that people exercise common sense and not to lose the run of themselves in the warm weather,” he said.
Meanwhile, as the bank holiday ges under way, frontline workers have urged the public to ‘hold firm’ in their efforts to contain Covid-19.
In a new video, frontline workers in Cork and Kerry appealed to people to continue to play their part in stopping the spread of the virus by sticking with guidelines and restrictions.
Una Rea, a staff nurse at Cork University Hospital, pointed out that working together, people have flattened the curve.
However, Eileen Coleman, a fleet director with Cork County Council warned that “this isn’t over, and we’re not done yet”.