'We’re prisoners in our own homes': Concerns after large crowds gather in Cork village

'We’re prisoners in our own homes': Concerns after large crowds gather in Cork village

There were reports of crowds gathering at beaches along the coastline at Crosshaven as seen from Roches Point

A councillor has voiced serious concerns after large volumes of people gathered in a Cork village at the weekend, saying that the village was akin to the ‘wild west’.

Cllr Audrey Buckley, who lives in the Crosshaven area, said that large crowds of people descended on the area in recent days with cars “unable to move” amid high volumes of traffic and parking on roadways such as in Fountainstown and Myrtleville.

The county councillor said that in some cases “people were locked into their houses because cars parked across their driveway” and expressed concerns about how emergency services could get access if needed.

“We’re prisoners on weekends in our own homes,” she said.

The traffic was just one issue affecting the area over the weekend though, and Cllr Buckely said she was particularly concerned about reports of antisocial behaviour among young people who descended on beaches.

Antisocial behaviour

In one video, seen by the Echo, large volumes of young people can be seen gathering on rocks with little evidence of social distancing. 

The councillor said she received reports that groups were throwing a lifebuoy around on the beach and throwing bottles into swimmers.

Cllr Buckley said that some of these youngsters must be going home drunk.

“I would never have let my kids down there yesterday.

“It’s amazing that someone hasn’t been drowned or killed in there.” 

She added: “I’ve had calls about youngsters falling back down to the bus in the village. The village was meant to have been like the wild west with kids everywhere, a lot of them drunk.” 

The county councillor said while she believes that there is an excellent community garda service in Crosshaven that more resources are needed.

Litter concerns 

Cllr Buckley said she is also very concerned about the amount of litter being generated and has reiterated her call for Cork County Council to take more action to help address the issue.

“As someone who has been a tidy towner for 15 years, I'm involved in coastal clean-ups… we’re the ones down there cleaning those beaches. Some of the volunteers want to stop cleaning Church Bay beach for the summer- but it would just bother me so much.. I would be afraid it would go into the tide. We have so many seals and otters and everything- why should they suffer. And It’s civic pride as well,” she said.

Cllr Buckley said she had contacted the council on the issue this morning and intends to put a motion to the council asking for more action on the issue.

“We’re doing tidy towns. We’re planting. We’re putting bunting up. We’re trying to make our towns and villages pretty and nice. But at a point, when this chaos happens you think why are we even bothering,” she said.

A spokesperson for Cork County Council said that there has been a significant increase in the amount of waste being generated as a result of the increased level of outdoor activity and takeaway consumption, e.g. takeaway food, coffee/drinks, refreshments etc which has given rise to increased littering.

"The primary issue regarding such littering is public behaviour. A high degree of personal responsibility needs to be borne by individual consumers. The consumer needs to understand that littering is an offence, and that there is no situation whereby disposal of litter in an indiscriminate manner is acceptable.

"Where bins are full - or where there is no waste bins available - the consumer needs to understand their own personal responsibility, and that they should take their litter home with them.

"Cork County Council commits a significant level of resources to street cleaning across the county – the provision of additional bins, or larger bins, is not the solution," the spokesperson said. 

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