It looks like dogs could be banned from Galway beaches during the summer months, if a new regulation is passed.
The said regulation would also see certain sports prohibited on public beaches, such as volleyball and windsurfing.
According to Green Party councilor Allastair McKinstry, it has been more than 20 years since the laws were updated, with Ireland’s public beaches becoming increasingly popular.
“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,” Cllr told Newstalk on Friday.
One of the most controversial proposals of the new regulations will see dogs banned between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. daily from June 1 to September 15, with dogs having to be on a leash at all other times.
Horses will also be completely banned from the beaches, with Community Guards and Gardaí tasked with enforcing these rules.
Under current laws, failure to clean up after your dog can result in a €150 fine, however, Mr McKinstry has yet to hear of any such fines being issued in Galway.
“Enforcement becomes easier if you can tell that dogs aren’t on beaches during peak summer days…other than that, it becomes difficult to have a community guardian follow a dog along a beach, waiting for something to happen.”
Playing sports ‘in a way that causes nuisance or danger’ will also be banned, with those looking to run yoga or surf lessons having to obtain a license from Galway County Council, which could 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 beach inflatables could also be banned under the proposed restrictions.
McKinstry is asking the public to share their views on the new regulations, ahead of their implementation.