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'Absolute disrespect' 'Minority' of beach-goers causing stress to Donegal community, says councillor

We see here the high numbers here in Donegal and there's talk that it's possible that we might not be coming out of lock down and this certainly doesn't help”

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Magheraroarty Beach in Co Donegal. Stock photo: Una Campbell

Magheraroarty Beach in Co Donegal. Stock photo: Una Campbell

Magheraroarty Beach in Co Donegal. Stock photo: Una Campbell

People who are gathering on a Donegal beach are causing concern and stressing out the local community, which is facing the prospect of a longer lockdown due to high rates of Covid cases, one councillor has said.

Cllr Micheal Cholm MacGiolla Easbuig said that a “large gathering” on the popular Magheraroarty Beach over the weekend was disrespectful to the community that fears they will pay the price for their behaviour.

“Over the weekend there was a large gathering over and around Magheraroarty Beach that left the community not only very concerned but very stressed as well,” he told Highland Radio.

“We see here the high numbers here in Donegal and there's talk that it's possible that we might not be coming out of lock down and this certainly doesn't help.”

The councillor was speaking as health officials met with local representatives over the weekend to discuss more supports for the county that has the highest Covid-19 incidence rate in the country.

On Friday, Dr Tony Holohan warned even "the dogs on the street" could see there were examples of people not complying with the guidelines in the county, adding that things need to turn around quickly.

In led to a meeting between Dr Holohan, Dr Ronan Glynn and Health Minister Stephen Donnelly with local representatives from Donegal to address the issue.

However, recent incidents on Magheraroarty Beach showed that there was a “very small minority that are being dismissive of the Covid pandemic”, according to Cllr MacGiolla Easbuig.

“I think to be honest with you that it shows absolute disrespect to the community that people, (regardless) of where they come from, think that they can come and gather in large numbers and be dismissive in terms of the local community,” he said.

“There was another incident where there was a mother and a number of children walking the beach while a number of their jeeps were racing on the sands and the mother had to pull the children away to keep them safe.

“It shows total disrespect to the community. There’s a very, very small minority that are being dismissive of the Covid pandemic.

“Having said that, there's also a responsibility in Government in terms of the roll out of the vaccine. It’s been extremely slow. There is one centre in Donegal and we’re a massive, massive community.

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“They should have different centres all around the county and it should happen a lot quicker. So it's not just this minority, it’s also on the Government as well.”

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