Dogs and sport could be banned on Irish beaches


Dogs could be banned from Galway beaches during the summer months if new draft regulations are passed.

The regulations would also ban certain sports, such as volleyball and windsurfing, from the beach.

Talk to Newstalk breakfast this morning, Green Party Councilor Allastair McKinstry said: “It’s been over 20 years since we last updated the regulations.

“Beaches are becoming much more popular, especially in the summer, so we have to control things like motorboats becoming dangerous and the increasing use of kitesurfing.”

One of the most controversial proposals is to ban dogs between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. daily from June 1 to September 15. Dogs must be kept on a leash at all other times.

Horses will be totally banned from the beaches.

Community guardians and Gardaí would be responsible for enforcing the new rules.

Depending on current laws, failing to clean up after your dog in public places can result in a €150 “on the spot” fine. However, McKinstry said he had not heard of any fines being imposed on Galway beaches.

“Enforcement becomes easier if you can tell that dogs aren’t on the beaches during peak summer days…other than that, it becomes difficult to have a dog tracked by a community guardian on along a beach, waiting for something to happen.”


The practice of a sport “in such a way as to cause a nuisance or a danger” will be prohibited.

Those wishing to organize surf lessons or even yoga will need to obtain a permit from Galway County Council, which can cost up to €300.

“I’m concerned about our current financial crisis in the county, we don’t have the money to implement them in a reasonable way,” McKinstry said.

Lilos and inflatables would also be banned under the proposed restrictions.

McKinstry is asking the public to share their views on the proposed settlements.


In May, County Kerry introduced restrictions for dogs on beaches to comply with new criteria for Blue Flag status.

The rules only apply to the signposted section of the beach and Kerry County Council yesterday approved a plan to create designated ‘passageways’ which owners can use to bring their dogs to areas not protected.

On The Pat Kenny ShowKerry Councilor Jackie Healy Rae described the rules as “absurd”.

He said they would not stop irresponsible dog owners from letting their dogs litter the beach outside designated times and in parts of the beach that are unprotected.

“It’s just people in a hurry making rules that no one has been elected to do,” he said.

“It was about telling us that if we didn’t adopt the rules that were being introduced, we would lose our Blue Flag beach. So in a sense we were held up for a roll and whether we agreed or not. “

“We are obviously proud of our Blue Flag beaches and it’s a case, if you don’t you will lose it.”

The main image shows dogs running on the beach in shallow water.


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