Sligo County Council orders ban on bathing at Enniscrone

Tests indicate ‘High levels of Intestinal Enterococci’ in waters of the beach

Sligo News File

Signs have gone up in Enniscrone warning swimmers to keep clear of the beach waters.

According to a notice issued by Sligo County Council, the waters are in a health-threatening state.

The ban on swimming was ordered with effect from earlier this week.

It’s understood from a statement published on the authority’s website that microbiological analyses of the water revealed the presence of ‘high levels’ of Intestinal Enterococci, leaving the water “non-compliant with bathing water regulations.’

Enterococci are indicators of the presence of faecal material in water and, therefore, of the possible presence of disease-causing bacteria, viruses, and protozoa, pathogens potentially injurious to swimmers and others who use the waters.

The incident is one of a number recorded over a period in relation to the waters in Enniscrone– it’s believed that last year an Advice Not To Swim notice was erected at the beach due to an ‘infrastructure malfunction’  which could have had an impact on water quality.

Enniscrone, which is on the route of the heavily promoted Wild Atlantic Way, lost its Blue Flag status some years ago owing to the waters failing to meet the standard required for the grant of the award. The flag has not been restored nor it seems has the beach since qualified for the Clean Coast Award.

A village improvement plan is proposed for the resort but to date, no solution appears to be in the pipeline for the control of waters flowing onto the beach from a nearby river, the Bellawaddy, a long-time cause of concern.

The swimming prohibition notice now in place will stand ‘until it is proven that there is no risk to bathers,” states the council.  A similar order applies to Mullaghmore.