September 28, 2021

‘Flabbergasting’ – crowds still flocking to Wicklow beaches despite Covid-19 appeals

Crowds of people flocked to a local Wicklow beach over the weekend despite repeated appeals to stay at home to combat the spread of Covid-19.

Wicklow Independent Councillor Tom Fortune urged people to “cop on and behave themselves” after the good weather saw many people ignoring the two kilometre rule to flock to the beach at Kilcoole, near where he lives.

“The Garda car had to come to get people to go home,” he said in an interview on Newstalk.

“It was flabbergasting, that people had to be told to go home.”

Cllr Fortune said many locals who live within the two kilometre radius turned back when they saw the crowds on the beach.

He added: “It’s unfortunate the guards had to go out yesterday getting people who were there already to move away.

“It’s just unbelievable that in the current climate that’s what the guards had to do, it’s most unlikely that they were all from within two kilometres.

“I think there’s a kind of misunderstanding from some people that they think that they can drive perhaps any distance and then it’s ok to walk two kilometres.

“That’s giving people the benefit of the doubt. It would appear that a lot are not caring about the situation which is a bit frightening.”

Cllr Fortune said that the car park at the sea front in Kilcoole had between 20 and 40 cars in it at various times on Sunday afternoon.

“It’s a beautiful walk, but with that amount of people it’s not easy to keep the safe distance,” he said.

“The gardaí were there on two or three different occasions trying to get people to behave and cop on to themselves.

“It’s absolutely flabbergasting that this has to be done. It’s unreal.”

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