‘Bag-of-cans tourism' has been rejected by local residents of the East Cork coastline after they spent their Saturday cleaning up after a beach party in a Special Protected Area.
Ardnahinch beach, close to Ballycotton Bay, was left in chaos with several campfires, beer cans and bottles, bras, clothing, tents and sleeping bags abandoned after a night spent on the protected coastline.
Local resident Proinsias Ó Tuama, who organised a clean-up on Saturday morning, said it took 24 people over an hour to clear all the rubbish that was left behind.
Mr Ó Tuama said the anger towards this type of tourism has been bubbling away for awhile in the local area and residents would be keeping a close eye on the beach to ensure it is not abused.
“We love to see people coming to enjoy the scenery of East Cork and we have a lot of businesses that depend on tourism locally, but we do not need this type of tourism.
“This type of behaviour is affecting businesses, wildlife and local residents and it needs to stop before it affects jobs.” Mr Ó’Tuama said people will not keep coming to the area if they are greeted with the scene of filthy rubbish that was left behind by the beach party crew over the weekend.
“We have hotels, restaurants and cafes that depend on the local tourism. We are dependent on footfall tourists, not bag-of-cans tourism.” The local resident also said that the Gardaí were very sympathetic and responsive to the issue, but they cannot be everywhere all the time.
“The guards are doing their fair share, they are very receptive to the problem. We do report it and they do come out to tackle the issue.” Clean Coast Regional Officer Susan Vickers said the issue was not the norm, but it is an issue that needs to be addressed.
“There is a lot of support to improve the amenities in the area, local volunteers work very hard.
“Their efforts need to be highlighted to show how much people care about their environment.” Ms Vickers said that there was no indication of responsibility by the people who abandoned their belongings on the beach.
“This is not acceptable, the rubbish left behind has an effect on the protected wildlife living in the area.”