A number of Mayo readers have contacted That’s Farming to raise concerns over new byelaws regarding dogs’ access to beaches in the county.
Since Wednesday, June 1st, 2022, dogs are not permitted in the Blue Flag, and/or lifeguarded areas of Blue Flag and Blue Flag candidate beaches during the summer bathing season.
That is according to Mayo County Council, which has confirmed that the measure will remain in place for the bathing season until September 15th, 2022.
According to the council, dogs can be walked on leads in the dog areas and on the whole beach outside of the 12 pm to 6:30 pm bathing times.
The updated law – which That’s Farming gained access to a copy of (Beach Bye-Laws for THE Administrative Area of Mayo County Council – states that this can only occur under three conditions.
- All dog fouling is removed and deposited in a suitable receptacle;
- The dog is on a leash at all times;
- The dog is not causing annoyance, danger or nuisance to any person or chasing, injuring, or disturbing any animals, birds, or other creatures on the beach.
However, the council has confirmed that some exceptions will apply.
Guide dogs, dogs kept by An Garda Siochána or the Customs and Excise Service in executing their duties, are exempt from this bye-law.
In a brief statement, a spokesperson for Mayo County Council said:
“Let’s all work together to keep our beaches clean and safe for everyone to enjoy.”
According to the council, Blue Flag and Blue Flag Candidate Beaches to which dog prohibition applies:
- Old Head;
- Clare Island;
- Elly Bay;
- Ross Killala;
- Golden Strand.
According to the documentation, under the Local Government Act 2001, an offender can receive an on-the-spot fine of €75 for breach of the bye-laws or for breach of any condition(s) of a permit issued under these bye-laws.
A fine or no more than €2,000 on summary conviction may apply.
According to the council, the offender, under these bye-laws, may be prosecuted by the council or by An Garda Síochána.