An Garda Síochána will be policing beaches and amenities in Cork over the weekend to ensure people are parking legally.
It follows a number of issues last weekend where vehicles were blocked in and roadways were obstructed, with concerns that emergency vehicle access could be restricted in certain circumstances.
Assistant Commissioner Michael Finn said that while people naturally want to visit the county’s scenic areas, that it is important people park safely.
"After all being cooped up in our homes for so long, it is only natural that we are all going to head for our beaches and tourist spots.
"However, last weekend we had a lot of issues with parking. We must all park our cars legally and safely. Parking irresponsibly can force wheelchair users and people pushing buggies onto the road; which puts them in harm’s way,” he said.
"An Garda Síochána will be policing our beaches and amenity area to ensure people are parking legally. On the spot fines will be issued in relation to any illegal and dangerous parking,” he added.
Cork County Council and the HSE are appealing for motorists to park legally and responsibly when visiting public beaches and amenity areas.
Chief Executive of Cork County Council Tim Lucey highlighted how Cork County is home to some of the most picturesque beaches in the country, and said that people are all which we looking forward to enjoying these as part of a much longed-for outdoor summer.
He added: “But please, if you are paying a visit to the coast this weekend, take one moment to think about where you park your car. It could be lifesaving.
"At any time our emergency services may need access and could be affected by a vehicle which has been parked irresponsibly. Our fire service can, and have been delayed, in responding to emergencies because of poor parking. Please consider an alternative location if the area is already crowded and make the right decision. Let’s continue to keep one another safe while we enjoy all that our county has to offer.”
Acting Director of Public Health (HSE South) Dr Anne Sheahan added: "This weekend, I remind people to continue to look after their health and the health of people around them. Remember to keep a distance from others where possible, and to wear a face mask in crowded settings (both indoors and outdoors)."
Dr Sheahan added: "We all need to remember that we are seeing evidence that the new variants of Covid-19 are even more contagious, and we have seen cases transmitted outdoors.”